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Google in taxes probe

TAX authorities in France are probing whether Google is using Ireland as a means to skirt French tax rules.

The Government is currently locked in talks over an ongoing tax audit and payment of back taxes.

Authorities are looking at whether Google's practice of charging French advertisers via its European headquarters in Ireland led it to underpay taxes in France.

Internet search giant Google has reportedly been investigated by the French tax authority since June 30, 2011 when its three offices in Paris were searched and computers and documents seized.

European Union rules on freedom of trade within the bloc generally allow firms to freely sell to one EU market from another.