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Italy to Push for Harder Tax Deal with Google Than UK

January 28, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Wherever there’s big business, there are big bills, and where tax bills are concerned it often seems like Google and Apple – among other big tech firms – are happy to dodge them as best they can across the globe. As the UK Government makes the headlines this week for their “major success” securing roughly £130 Million ($185.86 Million) in back taxes from the Internet giant, Italy seems bent on squeezing more out of Google. As the papers in the UK are reporting this week, Italy’s Government is looking to secure at least â‚¬227 Million ($247.4 Million) in back taxes from Google.

Depending on which figures you look at, it appears that Google paid just €2.2 Million tax on €54.4 Million in revenue from 2014, and Italy is wanting Google to pay tax owed from the previous years. The Italian Government, supported by Italy’s Guardia di Finanza tax authorities are looking for 15% of taxes from Google on €1 Billion in revenue, if figures from The Times are believed. Elsewhere however, it appears Italy has settled on a claim of â‚¬227 Million in back taxes from 2009 to 2013, which would still add up to 15% or so, putting the UK’s latest deal at just 3% and piling on yet more pressure on the UK Government and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs to explain just how such a paltry figure was decided upon.

Whether or not these big businesses should be forced to file their earnings in the same nation as they’re operating in, such as Apple UK and Google UK, has been a constant debate for the last few years, but it seems as if the public has finally had enough. This latest deal with Google in the UK has sparked serious debate about whether or not the UK is becoming a tax haven for businesses looking to shave more than a little off of their tax bills. Whether or not the deal in Italy will allow the UK to get more from Google is unclear, but it seems as though the age of publicly dodging big tax bills may be behind the likes of Apple and Google.