After Google was hit with a £130m tax payment to the UK government, it appears Italy is now looking for its own pound of flesh after claiming the search giant owes the country more than €200m (£150m) in back taxes. If this wasn't bad enough, Italy's tax police believe that Google evaded around €227m (£173m) of tax in 2009-2013.
A report by Reuters states that Google paid €2.2m (£1.6m) of tax in Italy in 2014 on revenues of €54.4m (£41.5m) of income. However, after some investigation by Italy's Communications Authority, it is alleged that Google actually earned around 10 times that revenue, and it has been suggested that the company hand over 15% of its income. If this is the case, Google would be handed a hefty bill amounting to hundreds of millions of euros for this four-year period, and would once more be exposed for its failure to declare what it owes.
Italy is showing the UK government how to play hardball with Google by demanding that the company, which is worth more than $530bn (£369.3bn), hand over 15% of income rather than the 3% that the UK government received. While Conservative chancellor George Osborne said that this amounted to an economic success, if Italy gets its share it would look like a Titanic failure, confirming the opinion of many who have criticised the deal.
This is not the first time that Italy has had to demand that Google opens its wallet after allegations of failure to pay six years'-worth of tax resulted in €318m being paid out to settle the dispute.