January 3, 2019 / 5:11 PM / 8 months ago

Google shifted $23 bln to tax haven Bermuda in 2017 - filing

AMSTERDAM, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Google moved 19.9 billion euros ($22.7 billion) through a Dutch shell company to Bermuda in 2017, as part of an arrangement that allows it to reduce its foreign tax bill, according to documents filed at the Dutch Chamber of Commerce.

The amount channelled through Google Netherlands Holdings BV was around 4 billion euros more than in 2016, the documents, filed on Dec. 21, showed.

Google did not immediately respond to an email and a phone call seeking comment.

The subsidiary in the Netherlands is used to shift revenue from royalties earned outside the United States to Google Ireland Holdings, an affiliate based in Bermuda, where companies pay no income tax.

The tax strategy, known as the “Double Irish, Dutch Sandwich”, is legal and allows Alphabet-owned Google to avoid triggering U.S. income taxes or European withholding taxes on the funds, which represent the bulk of its overseas profits.

However, under pressure from the European Union and the United States, Ireland in 2014 decided to phase out the arrangement, ending Google’s tax advantages in 2020.

Google Netherlands Holdings BV paid 3.4 million euros in taxes in the Netherlands in 2017, the documents showed, on a gross profit of 13.6 million euros.

$1 = 0.8781 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Anthony Deutsch and Mark Potter

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