MILAN, March 23 (Reuters) - Italian prosecutors have wrapped up an investigation into allegations U.S. tech giant Apple failed to pay corporate taxes to the tune of 879 million euros ($964 million), two sources said on Monday.
Under Italian law, the move now opens the way for the prosecutors to ask a judge for the case to be brought to trial.
The investigations, covering the period 2008-2013, involve two managers from the Italian subsidiary of Apple operations and one from its Irish-based subsidiary Apple Sales International, the sources said.
The probe claims that by having profits generated in Italy booked by the Irish subsidiary, Apple reduced its taxable income base and saved just under 900 million euros in the period, the sources said.
In a comment emailed to Reuters, Apple said it was one of the largest tax payers in the world and paid every euro of tax it owed wherever it did business.
It said the Italian tax authorities had audited Apple’s Italian operations in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and confirmed it was in full compliance with the OECD documentation and transparency requirements.
“These new allegations against our employees are completely without merit and we’re confident this process will reach the same conclusion,” it said.
The maker of the iPhone is one of several leading companies like Google and Amazon to fall foul of tax inquiries in Europe.
In recession-hit Italy, tax authorities have pledged to crack down on domestic and multinational companies in moves that could help shore up stretched public finances. ($1 = 0.9117 euros) (Reporting by Emilio Parodi, writing by Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Bernard Orr)