Google Agrees to Pay Italy $334 Million in Back Taxes



Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Credit Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

When it comes to the huge profits of American technology giants, Europe wants its slice of the cake.

Google on Thursday became the latest company to agree to pay back taxes, in this case 306 million euros, or $334 million, to the Italian authorities for its operations in the country from 2002 to 2015.

Under a similar agreement in late 2015, Apple agreed to pay to Italy €314 million in back taxes.

But Apple and the Irish government are appealing a separate €13 billion tax charge levied by the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, which said the company owed more tax on its businesses in Ireland.

As European lawmakers grapple with investigations into how much tax Silicon Valley tech companies should pay on their overseas operations, industry executives are gearing up to possibly repatriate hundreds of billions of dollars under the Trump administration’s proposed “tax holiday,” which would shrink the current (pre-deductions) levy of 35 percent on such income.

The biggest American tech companies face intensifying scrutiny by European regulators, with — pressure that could potentially curb their sizable profits in the region and affect how they operate around the world.

American multinationals now hold an estimated $2.6 trillion overseas, most of it from tech companies’ global operations, and a reduction in the tax rate could inspire them to return a sizable amount of cash to the United States.

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Source: New York Times – Technology



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