Microsoft has had its share of financial issues lately. This week, the company said it was taking a non-cash $6.2 billion write down on its 2007 acquisition of the Internet ad company aQuantive. Now there's word that Microsoft might be in some trouble with the French government on how it handles its taxes.
PCWorld.com reports that last week, 67 tax inspectors, accompanied by 30 police officers, came to pay a visit to Microsoft's French offices, located in Issy-les-Moulineaux. Microsoft sent out a statement comfirming the visit, adding, "This was part of a routine check and, as for any administrative or tax procedure, we remain at the disposal of the authorities."
However, it's looking like the inspectors were not making a social call on Microsoft's offices. GigaOM.com reports that the French government is looking into whether or not Microsoft has committed tax fraud. At issue is whether or not Microsoft tried to move some of the money earned in its French operations to other offices outside the country in order to avoid paying France's 33 percent corporate tax rate.
In addition to the tax inspection, the French offices at Microsoft also announced this week their first ever layoffs, impacting 30 people in its advertising and online divisions. Microsoft said the layoffs and last week's tax inspection were not related.