The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has taken Facebook to court on Tuesday over claims that the tech giant owes $9 billion in unpaid taxes.
Facebook is accused of undervaluing its royalty amount, between 2010 and 2016, by intentionally selling off intellectual property to specially made Irish subsidiary companies in order to save billions of dollars in tax. The trial is expected to last up to four weeks.
Facebook’s Berti Thomson told The Verge that the company “stand[s] behind” the 2010 deal.
Reuters reported that five Facebook executives are expected to testify including CTO Mike Schroepfer, and AR and VR chief Andrew Bosworth.
Other government bodies have accused several corporations of similar activities. In 2016, Apple paid $15.4 billion in back taxes to the European Union and last year, Google agreed to pay more than $1 billion following an investigation into its tax practices.
Facebook has had a rocky start to the year. This January, competitors filed a lawsuit against the social media company accusing it of anti-competitive behaviour in an attempt to remove Mark Zuckerberg.
Its European roll out of Facebook Dating was also halted this month after regulators in Ireland raised concerns that new service wouldn’t be compliant with local privacy laws.
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