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France demands €1.6 billion from Google in back taxes

The French authorities have demanded that US Internet giant Google pay €1.6 billion in back taxes, far more than the €170 million demanded from the British treasury.

“In regards to France, a €1.6 billion adjustment has been imposed on the company,” a source told AFP.

The French finance ministry, however, told AFP the amount Google would have to pay was subject to “fiscal confidentiality”.

Google is one of several multi-national corporations that have come under fire in Europe for paying extremely low taxes by shifting revenue across borders in an often complex web of financial arrangements.

France refused to negotiate the amount of back taxes it would request, unlike Britain which requested €170 million (£130 million) from Google, prompting criticism from parliament that the figure was “disproportionately small”.

Italy is also demanding Google pay over €200 million in back taxes following an inquiry by the financial police.

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