Microsoft $29 billion taxes dispute in U.S.

Microsoft has said it will contest a U.S. tax authority’s request to pay an additional $28.9 billion (£23.5 billion) in back taxes for the years 2004 to 2013.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been auditing how the firm allocates profits among countries and jurisdictions. Microsoft reportedly said, ‘the issues raised by the IRS are relevant to the past but not to our current practices‘.

Creative accounting?

There have long been concerns that the biggest corporations do not pay enough tax in developed nations. Big tech’ giants have been criticised for reporting lower profits in high-tax countries and higher profits in lower-tax jurisdictions to minimise their tax burden.

Microsoft reportedly said the IRS was seeking an additional tax payment of $28.9 billion plus penalties and interest. The company said it had ‘always followed the IRS’s rules and paid the taxes we owe in the U.S. and around the world‘. It said it believed that any taxes owed after the audit would be reduced by up to $10 billion based on tax laws passed by the former U.S. President.


This year, Microsoft has also come under scrutiny from other U.S. authorities. In June, it agreed to pay $20m to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after the company was found to have illegally collected data on children who had started Xbox accounts.

Other American tech’ firms such as Amazon and Facebook have also faced similar calls to pay more taxes.

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