Is Google using Bermuda as a tax haven?

22 Apr 2011

A report suggests that Google has collected profits generated and, using Ireland and the Netherlands, transferred them to an account in Bermuda to avoid taxes potentially up to US$1bn per year.

Bloomberg previously wrote a report on how Google moved its foreign profits through Ireland and the Netherlands to Bermuda and it seems that news site OWNI received legal documents in regards to this.

Articles of association and documented minutes from Google’s shareholders were found, such as from Google Europe and Google Ireland Holdings, transferring funds to Bermuda.

The documents also show a tax director was assigned specifically to this Bermuda group.

The ‘Bermuda branch’ does not employ anyone from Google’s European HQ in Ireland in spite of the fact it receives income from Europe. The report also notes Google has not registered a Bermuda domain name (, making the existence of the group even stranger.

The report says that, when a French, English or German user purchases services from Google, such as Adwords, the charge is debited to a bank account in Dublin and a portion of the net profits goes to Bermuda through a holding company in the Netherlands.

The Bermudan address written in this report only consists of a mailbox held by law firm Conyers Dill & Pearman, employed by numerous multinational corporations.

The firm allegedly manages Google Bermuda Limited, which it replaced in 2006 with Google Bermuda Unlimited. Under Irish law, this change means Google can avoid its obligation to make its accounts public.