Google Ireland agrees €345m tax settlement with Revenue

Employees paid on average €120,000, parent gets €3bn dividend

Tech giant Google Ireland agreed a €218 million tax settlement with Revenue this year, according to documents just filed. This formed part of its total corporate tax bill of €622 million, which is detailed in its 2020 financial accounts.

Google Ireland also paid €127.2 million in interest to Revenue, the company documents show, bringing the full settlement to €345.2 million.

During 2021, Google paid interim dividends of €3 billion to its immediate parent. The company is ultimately owned by Alphabet.

The accounts also show tech giant’s wage bill exceeded €500 million for the first time in 2020, with employees paid more than €120,000 on average.


Google Ireland Ltd recorded turnover of €48.4 billion in 2020, up €2.7 billion on the €45.7 billion of a year earlier.

Its pretax profit totalled €2.85 billion, compared with €1.94 billion in 2019. The company paid a total tax charge of €622.3 million in 2020 with €2.23 billion credited to reserves.

A note included in the accounts acknowledges the tax settlement: “Subsequent to year-end, the company agreed to the resolution of certain tax matters relating to prior years. This tax liability and associated interest are recognised in the current financial year.”

No details of the settlement were provided in the accounts and the company declined to comment on the matter.

Staff costs

Staff costs totalled €754 million, up from €617.9 million a year earlier. This includes wages and salaries, which jumped to €520.9 million as against €427.7 million in 2019.

The average number of people employed directly by Google Ireland rose to 4,314, compared with 3,949 in the prior year.

Administrative expenses rose from €29.7 billion to €33.6 billion, largely due to an increase in headcount and additional royalty charges. Cost of sales, which consist of traffic acquisition expenses, fell to €12 billion from €14.3 billion.

“2020 was another strong year for Google Ireland. For the last 18 years it has played a key role in the success of Google’s EMEA business and we continue to invest in our Irish operations and supporting Irish businesses,” a spokeswoman for the company said.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist