January 24, 2013 / 1:40 PM / in 5 years

Italian tax police visit Luxottica offices

MILAN, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Italian fiscal police have been carrying out checks at Luxottica to see whether the world’s biggest eyewear maker has avoided declaring income in Italy, a senior judicial source with direct knowledge of the case told Reuters.

Luxottica confirmed on Thursday that police had visited its offices under request from prosecutors in the northern town of Belluno, adding it was confident about a positive outcome.

Italian authorities have stepped up efforts to collect taxes in recent months and have targeted foreign groups such as Facebook, Google and LVMH jeweller Bulgari to check whether they have complied with fiscal rules.

Bulgari, Facebook and Google have said they always complied with tax laws in Italy and elsewhere.

The source said police searched Luxottica’s offices last week as part of checks into the use of transfer pricing - the price at which groups trade supplies or labour between units in different countries.

“If transfer pricing responds to commercial strategies it is not a wrong practice, but it may be aimed at moving taxable income where taxation is more favourable”, the source said.

Luxottica said its transactions only involved ordinary exports of products from its manufacturing company Luxottica Srl to its main divisions abroad.

“These are ordinary sales of products within the Luxottica group and, as such, they neither represent extraordinary operations nor involve third parties in tax-friendly countries,” it said. (Reporting by Antonella Ciancio and Sara Rossi; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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