Italy Claims Google Dodged $248 Million in Taxes

The Italian finance police believe Google evaded 227 million euros ($247.5 million) in taxes in Italy between 2009 and 2013, investigative sources said on Thursday.

The finance police report was due to be delivered to the Internet giant later in the day and comes amid an increasingly angry debate across Europe over taxation of multinationals who park earnings in low-tax nations.

Asked about the Italian report, a Google spokesperson said: "Google complies with the tax laws in every country where we operate. We are continuing to work with the relevant authorities."

Google's latest figures show it paid 2.2 million euros of tax in Italy in 2014 on revenues of 54.4 million euros generated in the country. Italy's Communications Authority estimates Google's Italian revenues at around 10 times higher.

Last week Google agreed to pay 130 million pounds ($185 million) in back taxes to the British authorities, though the opposition Labour Party and others said this was too small compared with the profits the company earned in Britain.

In December, Apple Inc (AAPL.O) agreed to pay Italy's tax office 318 million euros to settle a dispute over allegations it failed to pay taxes for six years, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said.

On Thursday the European Commission weighed into the row over taxation of multinationals with a proposal that would allow EU countries to tax corporate profits at home in some cases, even if the money has been transferred elsewhere to avoid such payments.

($1 = 0.9170 euros)

(Reporting by Sara Rossi and Manuela D'Alessandro, Writing by Crispian Balmer, Editing by Gareth Jones)

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