Amazon to settle Italy tax row with 100 mln euro: tax office

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Milan (AFP)

Amazon has agreed to pay the Italian taxman 100 million euros ($118 million) to settle a dispute over suspected tax fraud, the Italian revenue service said Friday.

Italian authorities have been investigating Amazon for tax evasion in the period between 2011 and 2015, but the deal meant the case is now closed, it said in a statement.

Citing investigators, Italian media reported in April that Amazon had established a mechanism to declare some 130 million euros of Italian profits in Luxembourg, which has a much lower corporate tax rate.

Italy has previously forced other US internet giants to pay up for taxes owed, including Apple, which in December 2015 agreed to pay 300 million euros to end a tax fraud investigation.

Last May, Google agreed to pay 306 million euros.

The tax authorities said Friday that they would now seek "preventative agreements" with Amazon to ensure that the company properly pays its taxes on Italian earnings.

It also "confirmed its commitment to a policy of fiscal control concerning Italian operations of internet multinationals".

US web giants are regularly accused of trying to wiggle out of their tax obligations, often by choosing lower-tax countries for their headquarters.

The European head office of Google is located in Ireland, where corporate tax rates are amongst the continent's lowest.