Google pays €27.7m tax at Irish subsidiary on €17bn revenue

‘Administrative expenses’ of €11.7bn stripped out from Google Ireland Ltd, accounts show

Revenue at Google’s Irish subsidiary rose 10 per cent last year to €17 billion, with pretax profits climbing almost 23 per cent to €189.1 million.

The accounts filed for Google Ireland Ltd also show that "administrative expenses" at the subsidiary were €11.7 billion in 2013, up 7.3 per cent on the previous year.

"Administrative expenses" largely refers to royalties paid to other Google entities, some of which are ultimately controlled from tax havens such as Bermuda.

The directors said the increase in administrative expenses related to a higher headcount, an increase in “sales and marketing efforts”, and “an increase in the royalties paid to a group undertaking”.


Google Ireland Ltd paid €27.7 million in Irish corporation tax in 2013, up from €17 million in 2012, according to financial accounts filed to the Companies Registration Office.

‘Double Irish’

Google Ireland Ltd is owned by Google Ireland Holdings, a Dublin-registered company located in Bermuda for tax purposes, with the company availing of a tax avoidance strategy known as the “double Irish” through this structure.

The ultimate parent is California-based Google Inc, which recorded revenues of almost $58 billion (€43 billion) in 2013.

Google said the increase in sales at the Irish subsidiary, where it books most of its international sales, was “driven primarily by an increase in advertising generated by Google websites and Google network members’ websites”.

After-tax profits increased 28.5 per cent to €154.5 million. Some €35.4 million was spent by the subsidiary on research and development last year, while the cost of sales rose 13 per cent to €5.1 billion.

John Herlihy, the head of Google in Ireland, said the company had seen "continued growth" in its Europe, Middle East and Africa (Emea) operations last year.

"Businesses across Emea are recognising that there is no longer a divide between online and offline," he said.

The search engine and technology giant is one of the largest multinational employers in Ireland, with its workforce here growing 8 per cent to 2,368 employees last year.

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery

Laura Slattery is an Irish Times journalist writing about media, advertising and other business topics