Apple Ends Italy Tax Investigation with €318M Settlement

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Italy's investigation into Apple's tax practices has come to an end now that the iPhone and iPad maker has agreed to a €318 million (about US$349 million) settlement. Apple was targeted along with several other companies for allegedly failing to declare its in-country taxes. In this case, Italy said Apple owed €880 million, or about $965.5 million.

Apple settles Italian tax investigation with €318M settlementApple settles Italian tax investigation with €318M settlement

Apple's Italian operations fall under Apple Italia in Ireland where tax rates are much lower. Italy's tax regulators felt the company was abusing local laws to shelter its earnings from taxation.

The Italian tax office isn't revealing details about the settlement, but did confirm the €318 million settlement figure is correct, according to the Guardian. The investigation was launched in 2013.

Apple's settlement may have ended the tax underpayment investigation, but it doesn't stop the country's related criminal investigation into three Apple executives. The settlement is, however, expected to reduce any potential punishment they may face.

Apple executives have been steadfast with claims that the company pays all the taxes it owes, and that if countries don't like the amounts it pays, they should change the tax laws.

Apple CEO Tim Cook called recent allegations that the company has been avoiding U.S. taxes by sheltering money overseas "total political crap." He added, "We pay every tax dollar we owe."

Italy's tax collectors didn't seem to agree, but with this settlement in place it looks like the country is fine with Apple's tax status, at least for now.

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Assuming Apple was legitimately moving money between countries, this looks like another case where governments need to change their tax laws.

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