Apple has reportedly agreed to pay €318 million (about $347 million) to settle an Italian tax dispute. The tech company had been under investigation for fraud in relation to earnings reports in Italy from 2008 to 2013.
In other words, Italy’s tax office had basically been looking into whether Apple had been paying the appropriate amount of taxes. Estimates for what Apple actually owed Italy (according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica) clocks in at three times the amount of the settlement, so it’s not pocket change for the country. The settlement comes after months of talking with Apple and marks the close of the official investigation into the company — though the criminal investigations into Apple Italia executives’ conduct will reportedly continue.
The subject of avoiding corporate taxes remains a hot button issue, especially for companies of Apple’s size. Critics argue that Apple and other companies intentionally avoid paying taxes through clever use of international borders — like being headquartered in Ireland, a country with notoriously low corporation taxes — and other loopholes. Apple CEO Tim Cook, for the company's part, claims that Apple “pays every tax dollar [it] owe[s],” while essentially hand-waving these kind of tax concerns as political in nature and nothing more.
It’s unclear as to the nature of the settlement beyond the cost associated with it, but Apple’s likely glad to have the situation behind it. Having a country’s tax office look closely at exactly how much any given corporation is supposed to be paying, especially in retrospect, is basically never going to be good news for the coffers.
Source: The Guardian
Photo: Niels Epting | Flickr