Google agrees to pay $335 million in Italy tax dispute

People visit Google's booth at the GMIC in Beijing

Italy's tax agency confirmed that Google would pay €306 million ($335 million) to cover taxes for the years 2009 to 2015.

Italian tax police alleged past year that Google had not paid about 1 billion euros of Italian revenue between 2009 and 2013.

In a separate statement on Thursday (Friday NZT), the Italian tax office said the amount of more than €306 million (NZ$490 million) which Google would pay was referenced to both Google Italy and Google Ireland units.

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French tax authorities have also been chasing Google, and police have raided its offices in the country.

However, a person familiar with the company's thinking said Google preferred to settle with Rome to bring to a close a controversy that has cast a negative light on the company in Italy. Facebook didn't immediately reply to requests for comment.

The company has defended the legality of channelling European earnings through its base in Ireland, which has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the European Union.

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Italy has been especially aggressive in pursuing tech giants.

Reports at the time said the payment was a discounted settlement of over 800 million euros of unpaid corporation tax, one of several disputes arising from a USA multinational basing European operations in Ireland. In late 2015, Apple Inc. agreed to pay about EUR318 million to end a dispute in which the company allegedly failed to pay nearly EUR900 million in taxes between 2008 and 2013.

Amazon has defended its returns in Italy, saying its heavy investments in the country explain its low profits and therefore its tax bill.

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