Netflix to pay $59 million to resolve tax dispute with Italian govt

Netflix, the popular American streaming service, has agreed to resolve a tax dispute with Italy, according to the company and legal sources.

Prosecutors in Milan said that they had reached an agreement with a worldwide video-on-demand streaming provider for a period spanning October 2015 to April 2019 and requested it to pay 55.8 million euros ($59.1 million) in damages.

They did not name the corporation involved in the settlement, but three persons with knowledge of the situation verified it was Netflix.

Netflix, according to a spokeswoman, is delighted to have the problem resolved.

“We have maintained continuous contact and collaboration with the Italian authorities and continue to feel that we have behaved in complete conformity with Italian and international regulations,” added the spokeswoman.

Three years ago, prosecutors launched an inquiry into possible tax evasion.

Netflix should have paid taxes in Italy, they contended, because it depended on digital infrastructure to distribute material to the country’s 2 million subscribers.

Netflix has built an office in Italy, with a base in Rome and more than 40 staff, as a backdrop to the payment deal.

The probe by Milan prosecutors, who claimed that Netflix’s usage of cables and computer servers amounted to a physical presence in Italy, was sparked by tax police investigations.

Prosecutors in Milan have already investigated major US digital companies such as Apple, Amazon, and Facebook for tax evasion, netting Italy billions of euros in fines and tax payments.

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