Some of the world’s largest technology firms are facing hefty new bills as the UK government moves to fundamentally change the way they are taxed.
Google and Facebook are braced for significant changes in the tax system after the Treasury told the BBC that a new tax on revenues was the “potentially preferred option”.
It would open up the firms’ huge UK sales numbers to the tax authorities.
At the moment, tax is levied on profits, a much smaller figure.
Google, for example, said it made sales – revenues – of £1bn in the UK in 2016 and a pre-tax profit of £149m.
It paid taxes of £38m – significantly higher than previous years after it changed the way it accounted for its activity in the UK.
If the government taxed a proportion of those sales its tax bill would be likely to increase significantly.