Apple being investigated for $1.3 billion Italian tax fraud

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Apple is in hot water over international taxes again, this time it’s in Italy. According to Reuters, the Cupertino company is currently under investigation by Italian authorities for alleged tax fraud.

The Italian government believes Apple may have hidden more than 1 billion euros (or $1.3 billion US) from the country’s tax authority during 2010 and 2011, and Milan prosecutors want answers…

Here’s Reuters’ Manuela D’Alessandro:

“U.S. tech giant Apple is under investigation in Italy for allegedly hiding 1 billion euros ($1.34 billion) from the local tax authority, two judicial sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

Milan prosecutors say Apple failed to declare to Italian tax authorities 206 million euros in 2010 and 853 million euros in 2011, one of the sources said, confirming a report by Italian magazine L’Espresso.

…The Italian subsidiary of Apple booked some of its profit through Irish-based subsidiary Apple Sales International (ASI), thus lowering its taxable income in Italy, the source said.”

And here’s Apple’s statement on the matter:

“Apple pays every dollar and euro it owes in taxes and we are continuously audited by governments around the world,” the company said in a statement. “The Italian tax authorities already audited Apple Italy in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and confirmed that we were in full compliance with the OECD documentation and transparency requirements. We are confident the current review will reach the same conclusion.”

The outlet notes that it’s not just Apple, several prominent companies have been the target of inquiries in Italy. Tax authorities faced with dwindling revenues have become more aggressive in recent years.

That’s not to say that Apple is innocent here, though. The iPad-maker’s tax practices have been questioned on a number of occasions, in several countries around the world, as well as here in the United States.

Additionally, last year, Apple was fined more than $1 million by Italian regulators for not providing consumers with proper disclosures related to the warranties that consumers automatically get under Italian law.