Google agrees to pay $335 million in Italy tax dispute

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Google has agreed to pay a near-record fine of over 306 million Euros (334 million dollars) to settle a tax controversy in Italy, officials said on Thursday.

However, the announced settlement today covers a much longer period starting from 2002 and only ending in 2015.

"In addition to the taxes already paid in Italy during those years, Google will pay another 306 million euros", the statement said. Some countries like Ireland and Luxembourg charge little or no corporate taxes in a bid to lure foreign investment, while others charge 30 percent or higher.

It has defended the legality of funnelling its European earnings through its base in Ireland, which has one of the lowest rates of corporation tax in the European Union.

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The Italian probe is just one of a number of judicial problems facing Google in Europe, where it has also faced scrutiny from national tax authorities in France and the United Kingdom.

"Of this, over 303 million has been attributed to Google Italy and less than 3 million attributed to Google Ireland".

The US-based company has previously said it complied with tax rules in all the countries it operates in. The European Commission, which administers EU law, said the Irish government helped the tech giant artificially lower its tax bill for more than 20 years. Tax police have told Amazon they believe the company has evaded around EUR130 million of taxes in Italy on EUR2.5 billion in sales effected through the company's Italian website between 2011 and 2015, according to people familiar with the matter.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.