Google agrees to pay 306 million euros to settle Italy tax dispute

People visit Google's booth at the GMIC in Beijing

Google will pay €306m (£259m) to settle a tax dispute in Italy and end a criminal investigation into whether it avoided paying the full amount on its revenues in the country for more than a decade.

The settlement ends one of several probes into Google's tax arrangements in the European Union, as governments maintain the pressure on other US giants they accuse of tax evasion.

Google worked out a similar deal with Britain previous year, agreeing to pay $185 million in back taxes.

Google's parent company Alphabet, whose motto is "Do the Right Thing", has been probed in Italy and other countries for booking income in Ireland, where taxes are lower. Apple dashed out 300 million euros to Italian authorities in 2015, while Google closed a $185-million deal with the United Kingdom previous year.

Regulators both for the European Union and individual countries allege the companies then transfer profits back to their outposts in the low-tax countries to avoid paying higher rates elsewhere.

The US-based company has previously said it complied with tax rules in all the countries it operates in.

Google confirmed it had reached an agreement with the authorities without commenting on whether it accepted the revenue's calculations.

Thursday's agreement between Google and Italy relates mainly to corporate taxes the Italians say Google failed to pay between 2009 and 2015. Last August, the commission ordered Apple Inc.to return $13 billion to Ireland in unpaid taxes.

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