Google will likely settle its tax dispute with the Italian government in the near future, according to Rosella Orlandi, the chief of tax authorities in the European country. In a Tuesday interview with La Repubblica, Orlandi revealed that government officials "are very close" to reaching a resolution of Google's dispute with the government regarding taxes that the company allegedly evaded in a period between 2009 and 2013. Orlandi didn't provide a specific time frame for when Italy's clash with Google might be resolved, nor did she clarify the situation in any other way. Regardless, latest developments suggest that the Italian branch of the Alphabet-owned Internet giant might finally move on from its dispute with Italian tax authorities after months of negotiations that started in 2016.
The Italian government initially accused Google of evading €227 million ($248 million) worth of taxes in a five-year period ending in 2013. Following those accusations, federal officials were reportedly looking to hit Google with a fine of up to €280 million, i.e. over $305 million. The last update on the situation that came prior to Orlandi's Tuesday announcement was back in January when sources familiar with the matter claimed that Italian officials weren't giving up on their intentions to issue the aforementioned fines to Google. However, seeing how the issue is now apparently close to being resolved only four months after that report — which isn't a long period for major tax disputes with state authorities in Italy — it's likely that Google still managed to negotiate a better deal and lower fines.
Apart from revealing that negotiations with Google are advancing in a steady manner and are close to being completed, Orlandi also told La Repubblica that tax authorities in the country are currently in the process of investigating a number of Internet companies operating in Italy, primarily those that deal in home rentals. The state official specifically mentioned that Airbnb is part of their recently started investigation, but didn't provide more details on the matter. Italy has recently been cracking down on a number of tech giants that it suspects of evading taxes, with sources indicating that Amazon is next on the country's radar as its tax authorities believe that the Seattle-based company evaded approximately $141 million in taxes several years ago.