Apple pays France €500 million to cover a decade of back taxes

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire

Apple has reached an agreement with French authorities over 10 years of back taxes, the United States firm told AFP on Tuesday, confirming information published by the French magazine L'Express.

At the beginning of 2019, France imposed a "GAFA tax" (under the French acronym for Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) and is lobbying the European Union to come up with a similar EU-wide tax plan for tech giants.

This is not the first time Apple has had to pay large amounts in back taxes in the European Union.

French newsweekly L'Express reported that Apple had paid almost €500 million ($570 million) to resolve the case in a confidential settlement reached in December.

"As a multinational company, Apple is regularly audited by fiscal authorities around the world", Apple France said in a statement provided to the media.

Neither Apple nor the French tax authorities immediately responded to requests for comment.

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The American technology company confirmed that agreement had been reached in December.

Apple Europe agreed to pay a "corporate income tax adjustment" covering years up to 26 September 2015.

In 2017, however, France's tax collection drive suffered a setback with a local court ruling that Google was not liable to pay €1.1 billion in taxes claimed on revenues transferred from France to Ireland.

Apple reached a deal with French authorities to back-pay 500 million euros ($571 million) in taxes, reports said.

Most of its sales are booked in Ireland where the United States firm has its European headquarters, and which has a low corporate tax rate.

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