Google to pay over $1B to settle France tax disputes

Alphabet Inc.'s Google unit agreed to pay more than $1 billion in fines and back taxes to French authorities to settle a years-long dispute over allegations of tax fraud.

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A court in Paris approved a penalty of 500 million euros ($551 million) from the digital giant over charges of tax evasion. In addition, Google said it paid a further 465 million euros ($513 million) in “additional taxes.”

French investigators have been investigating Google’s tax set-up since 2015.

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2018, file photo a woman walks past Google offices in New York. Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google, reports financial earnings on Thursday, July 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File) (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

The company, like many multinationals, declares profits from activities across the EU in one country, usually a low-tax state. Google declares most of its earnings in Ireland.

"We have now settled tax and related disputes in France that have persisted for many years," a Google spokesperson told FOX Business. "The settlements comprise a €500 million payment that was ordered today by a French court, as well as €465 million in additional taxes that we had agreed to pay, and that have been substantially reflected in our prior financial results. We continue to believe that the best way to provide a clear framework for companies that operate around the world is co-ordinated reform of the international tax system."

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The move on Google comes as the French government steps up its effort to more fairly tax the digital operations of companies. In July, it put a pioneering 3% tax on tech giants like Facebook, Amazon and Google.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.