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Ryanair rejects 'false' Italian tax claims

It is claimed that the company hadn’t paid €12 million it owed in tax in Italy.

Image: Photocall Ireland

RYANAIR HAS REJECTED what it calls ‘false’ Italian tax claims.

It released a statement saying that it has complied, and continues to comply, with Irish and EU tax legislation in respect of its pilots and cabin crew. It says these staff members:

are covered by EU regulations applicable to mobile transport workers in respect of their employment, which takes place on Irish registered aircraft (which is defined under EU rules as Irish territory).

Ryanair added:

All Ryanair’s pilots and cabin crew operate on Irish aircraft and fully comply with EU tax payments and rules.  They are paid in Ireland and pay their taxes and social taxes in Ireland under these EU regulations.  These people work in Ireland and not in Italy.

The Irish Examiner reports that the company is being investigated in Italy over allegations that it did not pay around €12 million of social security payments on employees based in Bergamo. It says that a civil court hearing is due to take place in February 2013.

New rules

The company said that under new rules introduced in June 2012, new Ryanair recruits will in future pay their social taxes in the country where they start and end their working day, and will no longer pay social taxes in Ireland.

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Existing employees will continue, under grandfather rules, to correctly pay their taxes and social taxes in Ireland which fully complies with EU legislation, said Ryanair.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:

Since Ryanair, and our people who fly Irish aircraft to/from Italy, are fully compliant with EU legislation governing income taxes and social taxes, the claims of ‘social tax avoidance’ made by the Bergamo prosecutor’s office on 16 October are untrue and will be vigorously defended.

He added that similar actions against Ryanair in Belgium, Germany and Spain have been all unsuccessful.

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