Jessica Fino 5 May 2017 01:02pm

Google settles €306m tax bill with Italian authorities

The tech giant has settled with the tax authorities in Italy after a protracted battle, agreeing to pay back €306m (£259m) in taxes

The tax authority Agenzia delle Entrate said in a statement on Thursday that the settlement resulted from an investigation into Google’s taxes between 2009 and 2013. The figure also included smaller amounts from disputes between 2014 and 2015 as well as between 2002 and 2006.

The statement added that the company has agreed to put in place preventive accords for the correct taxation of its future activities in the country.

Moreover, the agency confirmed its “commitment to pursuing a tax control policy” for multinationals operating in Italy.

The settlement comes after reports in January found that Google had offered to pay a tax bill of up to €280m to Italy’s tax authorities.

The multinational had been accused of avoiding €227m in taxes between 2009 and 2013 by channelling revenue through its operations in Ireland.

The Times newspaper reported at the time that the amount had not been fixed but “there have been talks and €280m is a possible amount”.

Italy’s settlement contrasts with a deal that the UK struck with the multinational last year, which received fierce criticism after it was agreed that Google would pay only £130m back in tax covering a 10-year period.

Also last year, the firm's offices in Madrid and in Paris were raided over discrepancies concerning its tax affairs.

In Spain, the tax authorities suspected the company was not declaring some of its activities in the country. However, the investigators did not reveal how much they were seeking to recover.

Meanwhile, the French authorities accused Google of owing €1.6bn in taxes. Prosecutors said at the time that the searches were the result of a preliminary investigation opened in 2015 relating to aggravated tax fraud and organised money laundering, following a complaint from the French fiscal authorities.