Jesse Drucker has a story at Bloomberg about methods Google and others use to reduce and defer their taxes. According to the story Google's share amounted to US$3.1 billion over three years.
There is an interactive (flash) graphic demonstrating the cash flow.
Corporate tax reduction:
you should have made the headline more clear – Google are paying
Funny that – they mostly donate to the Democrats
"do as we say, not as we do" i guess?
The Bloomberg headline suggested 2.4%, but it seemed misleading. I think the 2.4% rate may be referring to taxes paid in Ireland and the Netherlands. Below is a quote from their story.
"International income-shifting, which helped cut Google’s overall effective tax rate to 22.2 percent last year, shows one way that loopholes undermine that top U.S. rate."
Presumably Google is paying the US corporate income tax rate of 35% on their US income after acceptable expenses and deductions.
George, it's based on part of revenues to give to US government.
Let's say Google win $100. Without that system, they would give $35 to USA. With the system, US government earns only $2.4. Google doesn't keep $97.6 in its pocket, they also give money to other governments – but they save a lot of money anyway.
The article says the 2.4% is Google's overseas tax rate (not its US tax rate).
"Google’s income shifting – involving strategies known to lawyers as the 'Double Irish' and the 'Dutch Sandwich' – helped reduce its overseas tax rate to 2.4 percent, the lowest of the top five U.S. technology companies by market capitalization, according to regulatory filings in six countries."
Elswhere it says Google's effective tax rate is 22.2%. The previous sentence was talking about US tax rates. It is unclear if the 22.2% is US or worldwide. If 22.2% is a worldwide rate and they are employing lower foreign rates to average down to that rate, then one would expect their effective US rate would be even higher than 22.2%.
"U.S. Representative Dave Camp of Michigan, the ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee, and other politicians say the 35 percent U.S. statutory rate is too high relative to foreign countries. International income-shifting, which helped cut Google’s overall effective tax rate to 22.2 percent last year, shows one way that loopholes undermine that top U.S. rate."