Google has recently come under fire in the UK for alleged tax avoidance — last November, UK legislators talked to high-level executives about an apparent discrepancy between Google's global profits and their UK income taxes, and it was reported last week that a former executive has evidence of further tax avoidance. Now, chairman Eric Schmidt has publicly responded to the ongoing controversy: in an interview with the BBC, Schmidt plainly said that Google does everything legally required to comply with tax laws. "I view that you should pay the taxes that are legally required," he said. "It's not a debate. You pay the taxes." He also said he was "rather perplexed by this debate" over Google's tax practices. "What we are doing is legal," Schmidt said.
Of course, it would be a rather bold move for Schmidt to admit to avoiding taxes on the record, so his answers weren't exactly a surprise. He put most of the weight for changing how much Google pays in taxes on the government, saying that "If the British system changes the tax laws, then we will comply. If the taxes go up, we will pay more, if they go down, we will pay less. That is a political decision for the democracy that is the United Kingdom." Google is hardly the only major tech company under scrutiny for its tax practices — Apple has recently come under fire from the US government for keeping the majority of its profits overseas.