Google agrees to pay $334M in back taxes in Italy

Google agrees to pay 306 million euros to settle Italy tax dispute

Internet giant Google on Thursday agreed to pay 306 million euros to end a tax dispute in Italy, the company and the country's tax authority announced on Thursday.

Tax officials said the settlement also launches a process to determine Google's proper taxation level in Italy going forward.

The payment relates to the tax periods between 2009 and 2015 and to an old dispute concerning tax years between 2002 and 2005.

However, a person familiar with the company's thinking said Google preferred to settle with Rome to bring to a close a controversy that has cast a negative light on the company in Italy.

Both Google and the Italian tax office said the agreement covered the years between 2002 and 2015. "We need firmer global rules governing digital companies and better dialogue between countries where they operate".

Miles Dean, founding partner of Milestone International Tax Consultants, said: 'Commentators in the United Kingdom will no doubt look at what has happened in Italy and conclude that HMRC is either turning a blind eye to what Google are doing in the United Kingdom, are treating Google favourably as against domestic business, or are simply incompetent.

France is next in line for a piece of the tech giant.

The biggest outstanding dispute in Europe concerns a record breaking €13 billion ($14.2 billion) tax bill that Ireland has been ordered to serve Apple.

The French government reportedly believes Google owes it €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) in unpaid taxes. France's finance minister Michel Sapin said past year that he won't negotiate a deal with Google, but will instead pursue legal action.


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