The Milan Prosecutor’s Office has opened an investigation into Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, for alleged tax evasion in the non-payment of VAT between 2015 and 2021, which would amount to 870 million euros, according to an Italian newspaper. The file was sent to the Italian Justice from the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), which has been investigating the tax returns of US technology for some time, according to an exclusive published by Il Fatto Quotidiano on Wednesday.
The embezzled amount derives, supposedly, from not paying VAT for the registration of new users on the different social platforms controlled by Mark Zuckerberg’s company. Although registration is free, the legislation considers that users pay a “fee” when making their personal data available to the company to sell it to third-party companies and advertisers, an economic activity that should be taxed with VAT and for which it would have been taxed the relevant taxes.
Fraud would amount to 870 million
The Economic and Financial Police of the Guardia di Finanza estimates the sum of money defrauded at 870 million euros, although it will be the prosecutors, who according to the Italian press today have opened a file on the technology giant, who will set the amount if confirmed. .
Formerly known as Facebook, Meta is the brand under which Zuckerberg encompassed the management of social networks and messaging Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp; in addition to other platforms, such as Oculus VR, Giphy and Mapillary.