Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been accused of tax evasion by Italy’s taxing agency. According to Guardia di Finanza the famed designers misstaked the value of their design house when they sold it, evading $1 billion in taxes. Are the designers really evading taxes, or is the Guardia di Finanza just looking for an easy payday?
Sources confirmed that the designers were recently indicted in a tax evasion case that’s been under investigation since 2008. The indictment alleges that the designers and the house they built fudged the real value of their company when they sold it to their Luxembourg-based holding firm Gado Srl. in 2004. If they’re found guilty, the two could be personally liable to over $1 billion in back taxes and fines.
Of course, the designers vehemently deny the charge — and they have been since they were made aware of the investigation. In May 2009 they issued a statement saying that they’ve paid all the taxes they owe, and that the tax police aren’t getting a single additional lira of their hard-earned money.
“It’s a paradox! Since when does one have to pay taxes on money one never actually collected,” the designers said in a personal statement. “It’s an absurd demand based on a completely abstract calculation. This higher taxable sum…is a virtual figure we have never received, the result of a theoretical accounting exercise.”