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S&P 500’s cooper warns on $42m U.K. ‘Google Tax’ charge

S&P 500’s cooper warns on $42m U.K. ‘Google Tax’ charge

LONDON: The Cooper Companies Inc., a member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, has warned shareholders over its 31 million-pound ($42 million) “Google tax” charge from the U.K.’s tax authority.

The process for disputing the charge “can be lengthy and could involve litigation,” the Pleasanton, Calif.-based maker of contact lenses and surgical tools said in its 2017 annual report. The company plans to “vigorously” contest the bill from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, it added.

The charge relates to the diverted profits tax that the U.K. introduced in 2015 amid concerns Google parent Alphabet Inc. and other global tech companies were engaging in abusive tax planning to shift profits to offshore havens. The measure sets a 25 percent levy on profits that HMRC deems to have improperly avoided U.K. corporation tax, currently set at a rate of 19 percent.