French investigators raided Google's Paris headquarters today as part of a tax evasion inquiry, the financial prosecutor's office said. 

Google said it was fully complying with French law. 

Multinational companies are facing public anger at the way they use their footprints around the world to minimise tax.

France and other countries have sought ways to make sure Google, Yahoo and other digital giants, who often have their tax bases in other countries, pay their taxes locally. 

Investigators from the financial prosecutors office and France's central office against corruption and tax fraud, accompanied by 25 IT specialists, took part in the raid. 

"The investigation aims to verify whether Google Ireland Ltd has a permanent base in France and if, by not declaring parts of its activities carried out in France, it failed its fiscal obligations, including on corporate tax and value added tax," the prosecutor's office said in statement. 
             
Google has based its regional headquarters in Dublin where corporate tax is lower than elsewhere in Europe.

The company, now part of Alphabet, has been under pressure in recent years over its practice of channelling most profits from European clients through Ireland to Bermuda, where it pays no tax on them. 

The raid was carried out as part of an investigation that started in June last year. 

"We are co-operating with the authorities to answer their questions," Al Verney, a spokesman for Google in Europe, said in an email. 

French investigators started their investigation of Google's offices in central Paris at 5am, a source close to the finance ministry said. 

France is seeking about €1.6 billion in back taxes from US Internet giant Google, criticised for its use of aggressive tax optimisation techniques, another finance ministry source had said in February. 

Google had agreed in January to pay £130m in back taxes to Britain, prompting criticism from opposition lawmakers and campaigners.