Not only do large multinational tech firms like Apple and Google try as hard as possible to avoid playing taxes on the planet Earth, our pesky Earth laws make it easy to dodge. Just look at le Google in France.
The BBC details just how tricky it is to even legally define Google's French operation as a thing that can be taxed. To Google, its office is just a soft fairy footprint, barely there—its heart and soul lives on the internet. But what about the French people who use the internet, whose online lives are what Google pays its bills with? Even a country like France, which is far more aggressive than the US when it comes to making companies pay their share, is beholden to "international law" (ha-ha-ha) and byzantine definitions of "taxable entities."
In the meantime, Google is beefing up its private jet operation.
Note: A large portion of Gawker Media's taxable assets are located in a Cayman Islands shell company, a structure once described by The New Yorker as "long favored by insider dealers, drug cartels, hedge funds, and other entities with lots of cash they don't want to advertise."