Italy investigates Booking.com for evading 150 million taxes

This content was published on Jun 10, 2021 – 2:57 PM

Rome, 10 June (EFE). Italian authorities reported today that they are investigating the Netherlands-based digital platform Booking.com for tax evasion of up to 150 million euros between 2013 and 2019.

Guardia di Finanza in Genoa notes in a statement that the company used the so-called taxpayer investment system, which involves transferring the economic weight of the tax to the recipient of the taxable operation.

This mechanism allows the company that provides the good or service to issue invoices without value-added tax so that it does not pass or enter it in the public treasury, but the process is subject to the payment of this tax, so it is the recipient who will bear it in his statement.

The Guardia di Finanza newspaper in Genoa explains that Booking.com has issued invoices without VAT, as well as for accommodation that lacks the number it identifies in Italy as taxable persons carrying on an economic activity ”, as a result of which the tax has not been announced and payment has not been announced in Italy “.

Guardia di Finanza adds that the invoices total 700 million euros and “the company (Booking.com) should have paid more than 153 million euros in taxes to the tax authorities”.

The platform also did not mention any tax officer to keep its accounts, did not identify himself in Italy and did not file the relevant declarations, “thus achieving total evasion of taxes, which were not paid in Italy or Holland, and incurred an offense of lack of declaration.”

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Booking.com responded in a statement that “in accordance with European VAT legislation”, partner structures “in the European Union, including Italian ones, are responsible for evaluating and submitting local VAT payment to the respective governments.”, and confirms that it will cooperate with the Italian tax authorities.

Consumerismo No Profit celebrates the opening of the investigation in a statement, but makes it clear that “the tax problem for digital giants is broader and needs to be resolved at the political level, so that these companies are forced to pay taxes in the countries where they earn their income.”

On June 5, finance chiefs from the United Kingdom, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan, the countries that make up the Group of Seven, agreed to set a corporate tax rate of at least 15% during a meeting. in London.

However, the agreement has not yet entered into force because it has not yet been taken up at the meeting of the Group of Twenty – developed and emerging countries – next July in Venice, and the definition of large multinational companies must also be agreed upon. EFE

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