The debate over American corporation skipping out on their tax bills is getting serious as European leaders have started talking about serious things like actual trials. French Junior Minister for Budget, Jerome Cahuzac, is one of the people talking. At a press conference on Tuesday, Cahuzac said boldly that he had "the most genuine conviction" that Google would lose a court battle over the company's unpaid taxes. Cahuzac added that French authorities are currently in the process of negotiating the size of that tax bill. Local press pegs the amount at around $2.17 billion.
The figure shouldn't be a shock, if you've been following the tax-dodging escapades of companies like Google, Facebook and Apple. The fact that multinationals like to take advantage of tax loopholes by setting up world headquarters in countries with low corporate taxes like Ireland and the Netherlands, effectively skipping out on billions worth of taxes, is old news. Only recently, though, have we seen European governments not only protest the shady arrangement but take the companies to task over the unpaid taxes.