Friday, 01 September 2017 08:31

France seeks US$715m in back-taxes from Microsoft Featured


France has asked Microsoft to pay €600 million (US$715 million) in what it claims are back-taxes owed by the American software giant for billing local customers from Ireland.

The French weekly L'Express reported that the billing was for Internet advertising and keywords for Internet searches.

It said that Microsoft had paid corporate taxes of just €32.2 million last year.

Microsoft reacted by saying that it "acts in accordance with the laws and regulations in all the countries in which it operates, working in close co-operation with local tax authorities to ensure complete compliance with local laws".

L'Express said that the French taxation authorities had refused to comment on the claims.

France has also sought back-taxes from Google, in this case a sum of €1.1 billion. In May last year, Google's Paris offices were raided in connection with these allegations.

But a French court later ruled in favour of Google. The tax authority is appealing the ruling.

American multinational technology companies have come under fire in a number of locations over allegedly avoiding the payment of taxes.

Last year, the EU asked Apple to pay 13 billion in back taxes, claiming it had found that a number of deals the company cut to do business in Ireland were illegal.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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