Google won't get a deal on French taxes

It's on the hook for the full amount, like it or not.

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Jon Fingas
May 29, 2016 3:33 PM
Chesnot/Getty Images
Chesnot/Getty Images

If Google was hoping that France would give it a UK-style tax break, it's going to be in for a rude surprise. The country's Finance Minister Michel Sapin informs Reuters that there won't be any negotiations with Google over the €1.6 billion in back taxes (roughly $1.76 billion) the company reportedly owes. The French "don't do deals," Sapin says. He adds that the recent raid on Google's Paris office over alleged tax fraud was really just the next step for investigations that started a few years ago.

Google maintains that it's already obeying the law through its current approach, which uses international tax loopholes to report sales in Ireland. However, that clearly doesn't matter to France -- it's convinced that foreign companies are evading their legal responsibilities, and it's cracking down wherever it can. McDonald's is also a target, for instance. Barring some new discoveries, Google might not have much choice but to pay up.

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