Gucci faces tax probe in Italy

Italian high end fashion brand Gucci has been the subject of a police raid over suspected tax evasion amounting to around €1.3bn (£1.15bn).

Police spent several days at the company’s offices after allegations emerged that Gucci had been declaring Italian sales in Switzerland for several years in order to save on domestic tax.

In a statement Gucci said: ‘With respect to an article concerning an audit by the local tax police conducted at Gucci's offices in Florence and Milan published in an Italian newspaper today, Gucci confirms that it is providing its full cooperation to the respective authorities and is confident about the correctness and transparency of its operations.’

The move follows a number of high profile investigations by the Italian tax authorities into the tax arrangements of luxury brands. Prada was required to pay €420m to settle allegations of tax avoidance over a ten year period, while Giorgio Armani paid €270m in 2014 over a tax dispute involving overseas subsidiaries.

However, fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were cleared of tax evasion following a successful appeal to Italy’s top court after the pair faced accusations that they had transferred control of their brands to a shell company in Luxembourg in 2004 and 2005 to avoid paying €1bn Italian taxes.

Report by Pat Sweet

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