Parents in Ireland are expressing outrage over a tax refund offered to them by US-based Google.
The Irish Independent has learned that a couple from Co Mayo received a $6,000 bonus to start their children’s educational career after receiving their tax refunds from the US.
It is believed to be the first such tax refund in Ireland.
The money is not being used for the education of the couple’s children.
The family had already been in the US for about a year, and had been planning on moving to Ireland with their son, who was now about six years old.
“The family have received the full refund and they are happy, but we don’t want to have to pay taxes on the money we’ve earned from this,” said father Paul.
“I’m very angry at Google, because I can’t do what they’re doing.
They’re sending us money without giving us a reason.”
The refund was for the full amount of money paid, plus a 10 per cent tax rebate on that amount.
“We were just hoping Google would give us some money to help our son start his education,” he added.
“But they don’t.”
Google spokesperson Mark Hirst said the company did not receive any tax refunds to the US, and was unable to comment further.
A spokesperson for Google Ireland, which has offices in Dublin and Cork, said it was the parent’s responsibility to provide their children with any financial support.
“Parents should contact their tax advisor to get a clear understanding of how to best meet their tax obligations and what the current and future tax arrangements will be,” the spokesperson said.
The US is not the only country to offer a tax rebate to students.
The European Union, which provides more than one billion euros in funding to schools in the region each year, also provides a tax break to students to cover their travel costs.
Google Ireland has not received any refund from the Irish Government.
“It is always disappointing when the Government doesn’t provide the right support for the most vulnerable in our society, but this was not an issue that we had to deal with at this time,” said Paul.
In recent years, Google has become a target of protests by the parents of those affected by the “Google tax” in the United States.
Google, which is based in Mountain View, California, said in 2015 that it would provide €8 million to help schools pay for the cost of “digital literacy”.
Google has also been embroiled in controversy in the past over tax dodging in the UK.
In March, a British man, Paul Allen, filed a tax fraud complaint against Google for withholding more than £100,000 from his British company, Redwood Computing.
In a separate case, Google was accused of evading a tax bill of more than €2.3 million in the Netherlands.