MILAN — Prada SpA said Monday that Italian tax authorities are investigating Miuccia Prada Bianchi and Patrizio Bertelli.
The investigation relates to “the accuracy of certain past tax filings” relating to foreign owned companies, Prada said.
In its defense, Prada said the designer and her husband made a “voluntary disclosure” to tax authorities in December 2013, which resulted in an agreement between them and the Italian Tax Authority. “This agreement completely satisfied the claims of the Italian Tax Authority, as declared and confirmed by the Authority itself,” said the company on Monday referring to the agreement in Dec. 2013, adding that neither the firm nor any of its subsidiaries was or is involved in this matter.
In January, lawyers for Prada and Bertelli refuted that Italian tax authorities were investigating the pair for unfaithful earnings declarations. A well-placed legal source told WWD at the time that Bertelli and Prada last year paid 470 million euros, or $643.9 million at current exchange, to the tax office. “It’s an enormous sum, Prada and Bertelli themselves advised on the existing tax anomalies, brought back the [legal headquarters of the] company to Italy and paid the backed-up taxes,” said the source.
A legal source said any transaction with Italy’s tax office starting from a sum as low as 100,000 euros, or $137,000, is declared to the prosecutors.
According to a source, the Agenzia delle Entrate, Italy’s tax authorities, had contested that Prada Holding BV had allegedly set up subsidiaries in the Netherlands and Luxembourg for a more favorable tax rate and only formally, but that they were not really operative out of that country. In December, Prada announced “the completion of a voluntary disclosure procedure, which follows the company’s strategic decision to choose Italy as its business hub.”
This, said the company at the time, followed “a collaboration program with the Italian Tax Authorities that started back in 2008, whereby the Group’s Italian subsidiary, which is not involved in the procedure, applied for several international rulings.”
Collaborating with the Italian tax authorities allowed for the group to determine all tax obligations following the repatriation of non-Italian companies, based on the last 10 years.
Prada shares dropped 0.83 percent on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to 47.90 Hong Kong dollars, or $6.17 at current exchange.