According to local media, prosecutors in Milan had opened an inquiry into “persons unknown” related to Amazon after a specific communication came from the national tax agency.

wpid-Amazon.jpg Italian financial police were also looking into the domestic activities of the e-commerce giant, which has its European headquarters in Luxembourg.

In a separate case, Italy’s Revenue Agency would also be negotiating with Google a possible deal “in order to close a litigation on alleged tax evasion in the country by the California-based multinational.”

The amount of Google’s alleged tax evasion in Italy would be around 1 billion euros. The news about the closer scrutiny on Amazon and Google’s corporate tax policies came after Italy’s tax authorities succeeded in striking a deal with the Apple’s Italian subsidiary.

Apple agreed to pay 318 million euros (345.8 million U.S. dollars) to settle a probe into its tax arrangement in the country launched in 2013. The company had always denied any wrongdoing.

The agreement between Italy and Apple was first reported by La Repubblica daily last week and was confirmed by the Italian tax authorities.

According to the revenue agency, Apple had failed to correctly declare its earnings in the country from 2008 to 2013, and should have paid some 879 million euros in taxes over that period.

Apple and several other multinationals have based their European headquarters in Ireland, whose corporation tax rate is the lowest among the European Union (EU) member states.

Such practice from big companies has drawn criticism across Europe, and the Irish government has come under growing pressure from the EU for change of its tax policy, which would allegedly allow the firms to avoid paying their taxes in the country where profits are generated.

The agreement with Apple was the first of its kind, and hit the headlines in Italy last week. But the tax authorities did not officially comment on it. Yet, the deal was seen as a relevant international precedent that might lead to the regularization of the relationship between Italy and multinational companies in the same sector, according to prosecutors in Milan.

The U.S. tech giant also did not comment on the deal. Yet, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook recently dismissed accusations that the company was avoiding taxes in the United States by keeping much of its cash outside the country. “Apple pays every tax dollar we owe,” Cook said.

With regards to Google, Italy’s Revenue Agency would be discussing a possible deal with the company “on the same basis of that with Apple,” and amounting to about 150 million euros, according to La Repubblica.

Prosecutors in Milan announced the opening of an investigation over Google’s alleged violation of tax laws last February. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars) Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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