France comes after Amazon for $252 million in back taxes

The retail giant apparently avoided paying by setting up shop in the low-tax country of Luxembourg.

The French government has demanded Internet retail behemoth Amazon pay the back taxes it owes the country, a sum that exceeds the grand total of $252 million.

According to a Reuters report, the European country filed the claim Monday as part of a European Union initiative intended to crack down on U.S. companies that minimize their tax bills by channeling their profits through low-tax nations.

Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle, Wash., sends all of its sales through France's neighbor, Luxembourg, which offers hefty tax breaks to foreign companies basing themselves there.

The company told Reuters that it received the proposed tax assessment in September but is still awaiting a final assessment. In its third quarter results filed in October, the company reported that it would dispute the claim laid down by the French government.

"We disagree with the proposed assessment and intend to vigorously contest it," the company wrote.

This is the second time in two weeks that the French government has been in the news for coming after a U.S. company for million in back taxes. In late October, a French publication wrote that the country had filed a $1 billion claim against Google, but the California-based company denied the report.  

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