Google Settles Italian Tax Fight For $334 Million

Posted May 06, 2017

Following a settlement with Russian Federation last month over Android pre-install restrictions, Google has agreed (via Reuters) to pay Italy €306 million in unpaid taxes from 2002 through 2015.

Google has been under investigation by Milan prosecutors for the tax years 2009-2013, one of several European probes looking into the tax practices of worldwide companies. However, the investigators did not reveal how much they were seeking to recover.

In 2015, the last year for which accounts are available, Google Ireland generated sales to the value of €22.6bn - about a third of its total income that year - but only paid €48m in tax here.

'In addition to the corporation tax already paid in Italy for these years, Google will pay an additional €306m.

The tax agency said Google also agreed to sign an agreement ensuring "the future correct taxation in Italy" of company activities related to the country. "Google confirms its commitment to Italy and will continue to work to help grow the online ecosystem of the country".

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According to the French government, Google owes $ 1.8 billion to unpaid taxes. The company has denied the allegations. The biggest controversy on European soil concerns the record amount of $ 14.2 billion, a tax that Ireland has ordered to demand from Apple.

Italy has been especially aggressive in pursuing tech giants.

In late 2015, United States tech giant Apple paid 318 million euros to settle a dispute over its Italian earnings dating back to 2008.

Other U.S. multinationals, including Amazon.com and Facebook Inc., are also under scrutiny in Italy.

The US-based company has previously said it complied with tax rules in all the countries it operates in.