City news: Taxes, tech and Sports Direct

City news: Taxes, tech and Sports Direct

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The firm came under fire from the Government last year for not paying its fair share to the exchequer and opposition politicians seized on the latest tax payment as a sign that the US tech giant was still not doing enough.

Google insisted it paid “all the taxes due in the UK”, but as an international firm, it paid the majority of its taxes in its home country.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: “It is a national disgrace that by paying just £36million in tax, Google could have an effective tax rate lower than many working families in our country.” 

John McDonnell (right)GETTY

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell railed against UK corporate tax rates

A Google spokesman said: “As an international business, we pay the majority of our taxes in our home country, as well as the taxes due in the UK.


It is a national disgrace

John McDonnell


We have recently announced significant new investment in the UK, including new offices in Kings Cross for 7,000 staff.”

The tech company paid £46.2million in corporation tax for the previous 18 months to June 30, 2015.

That covered an extra six months of business before Google moved to a 12-month accounting period the following year. 

Neon Google signGETTY

Google paid just £36million in tax in the UK last year

The firm said both administrative costs and turnover for the period decreased as a result of the accounting changes.

A US technology firm is to invest £3.8million in its specialist research centre in Edinburgh, it has been announced.

The move by Xilinx Inc will create 12 jobs and protect 30 existing roles, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed.

The venture is being supported by a £1million research and development grant distributed through Scottish Enterprise. 

Ms Sturgeon made the announcement as she prepares to carry out a week of engagements in the United States to promote trade and investment.

She said: “The USA is Scotland’s top source of inward investment and Xilinx Inc is another example of a leading technology company harnessing our highly educated and skilled workforce. 

Nicola Sturgeon in the darkGETTY

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that Xilinx Inc would be investing £3.8million into Edinburgh

This is fantastic news for this specialist sector in Scotland. It also demonstrates our strength and expertise in developing these state-of-the-art technologies.”

Xilinx Scotland will develop communications technologies, particularly around 5G, and aims to establish itself as a centre of excellence.

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has raised its stake in department store chain Debenhams.

The billionaire’s firm has upped its interest in Debenhams stock from 13.38 per cent to 16.09 per cent.

Sports Direct has built its position through a combination of share options and contracts for differences.

The Newcastle United owner has a history of building up positions in rival retailers, having previously bought stakes in French Connection, JD Sports and privately-owned House of Fraser.

Mike AshleyGETTY

Mike Ashley’s firm has upped its stake in Debenhams, as well as owning stakes in French Connection

Sports Direct snapped up an 11 per cent stake in French Connection, raising fresh questions over the chain’s future.

Mr Ashley made his share raid in February after fund manager Schroders dumped a 9 per cent stake, with Mr Ashley acquiring an additional 2 per cent on the open market.

As well as running around 400 stores across the UK, the Sports Direct group has a presence in Europe through stores in Austria and the Baltic states while Debenhams has more than 240 outlets worldwide.

Last month, Mr Ashley is understood to have paid £31 million to buy Agent Provocateur’s UK business via a pre-pack administration.

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