After concluding an agreement with London, Google is now in the sights of the Italian tax authorities: Rome, which has already managed to fold Apple, claiming the US internet giant more than 200 million tax arrears .
A judicial source told AFP that Google had 200 million euros in taxes on royalties and tax on corporate income in the amount of undeclared € 100 million, which would in total just over 227 million of taxes due and unpaid.
The tax on corporate profits, the IRES, amounted to 27.5% in Italy.
The American multinational had to be notified Thursday of this demand, according to the judicial source. The survey, which covers the years 2008 to 2013 according to Italian media, was opened by the prosecutor of Milan for tax fraud and is conducted by the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian financial police.
“Google complies with tax laws in each country where it operates. We continue to work with the relevant authorities, “responded a spokesman for Google in Milan, told AFP.
Google and other US corporations such as Amazon or Facebook are regularly accused of wanting to avoid taxes in both the United States and Europe, for example by choosing to settle in countries where taxation is more favorable to them. Practical, they say, of “tax optimization”.
The European headquarters of Google is well located in Ireland, a country with a of taxation on company profits (12.5%) among the lowest in the EU.
After an investigation by the British tax authorities on its fiscal arrangements, the US search engine last week agreed to pay 130 million pounds ($ 170 million) in back taxes.
But the agreement was criticized in the UK, even in the Conservative ranks, because of the smallness of the amount paid compared to the benefits reaped by Google. London Mayor Boris Johnson, as the spokesman of the Labour Party, has judged the “derisory”.
According to the leader of the Labour opposition Jeremy Corbyn, the tax rate applied under the agreement is only 3%, Google having achieved £ 6 billion in profits in the UK between 2005 and 2015. A percentage opposed by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Rome has already managed to fold the US Apple, which agreed in December to pay € 318 million for full settlement. Apple Italia was accused by anti-fraud services of not paying the Ires from 2008 to 2013.
In France, Finance Minister Michel Sapin, said that an agreement with Google on its back taxes was “a necessity”. The French tax authorities decided to impose it two years ago a recovery which could amount to 500 million euros, according to the press.
The request of the Italian tax authorities against Google was announced the day of the launch by the European Commission, an offensive against tax optimization multinationals, which generate it believes a shortfall “of between 50 and 70 billion euros per year “for the 28 EU countries.
The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi welcomed Thursday of the struggle of the Italian tax authorities against tax evasion “in 2015, a record year in recovery (of amounts that have been) tax evasion (almost 15 billion euros), “he tweeted. Rome had recovered 14.2 billion euros in 2014.