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French tax authorities seek 356 mln euros from Booking.com - SEC filing

(Reuters) - French tax authorities are seeking 356 million euros ($397.37 million) in unpaid taxes from Booking.com, a unit of Priceline Group, according to a filing by the parent company to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Priceline Group said the tax authorities had recently concluded a more-than two-year audit of Booking.com’s accounts from 2003 to 2012.

“In December 2015, the French tax authorities issued Booking.com assessments for approximately 356 million euros, the majority of which would represent penalties and interest,” Priceline Group said in a filing dated May 4 and seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

France’s tax authorities say Booking.com had a permanent base in France and is seeking to recover unpaid income and value-added taxes, the filing showed.

Priceline Group said Booking.com had always complied with French tax law.

“If the company is unable to resolve the matter with the French authorities, it would expect to challenge the assessments in the French courts,” Priceline Group said in the filing which was first reported by Paris Match magazine on Wednesday.

Last week, French police raided Google’s Paris headquarters, escalating an investigation into the digital giant on suspicion of tax evasion.

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