Italy Says Google To Pay EUR306m To Settle Tax Disputes

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Google Inc. confirmed a settlement with Italian tax authorities Thursday topping more than $330 million and resolving a tax dispute spanning a number of years.

The agreement resolves a series of disputes including a criminal probe that saw police accuse Google of booking around €1bn of revenues from Italy in Ireland between 2009 and 2013.

The sum also settles other disputes for the tax years 2002-2006 and 2014-2015. The payment is also "referenced to both Google Italy and Google Ireland units".

Governments have taken particular aim at complex corporate structures that allow companies to book revenue in low-tax jurisdictions, such as Luxembourg and Ireland, that they have earned in high-tax countries such as Italy.

The company said the agreement is in addition to taxes already paid in Italy over the period. "Google confirms its commitment to Italy and will continue to work to help grow the online ecosystem of the country".

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. Facebook didn't immediately reply to requests for comment. The company has always maintained that it complies with the tax laws of every country it operates in. In late 2015, Apple Inc. agreed to pay about EUR318 million to end a dispute in which the company allegedly failed to pay nearly EUR900 million in taxes between 2008 and 2013.

The European Commission estimated at the time that EU loses as much as €70 billion per year due to corporate tax avoidance.

Meanwhile, the French authorities accused Google of owing €1.6bn in taxes.