New tax scandal as Ikea ‘avoids paying £775 Million in taxes using onshore havens’
FURNITURE giant Ikea has been accused of underpaying a staggering €1 billion (£773 million) in taxes between 2009 and 2014.
The Swedish firm is under scrutiny for using “onshore European tax havens”, according to a members of the European Parliament.
In a report released on Saturday, they said: “One of the techniques is shifting royalties from each Ikea store to a subsidiary in the Netherlands, which acts as a conduit.
“The royalties go in and out of the Netherlands untaxed and end up in Liechtenstein, or at least partly.”
European Commission bureaucrats vowed to examine the findings by the Green/EFA group.
Spokeswoman Vanessa Mock said: “The Commission has taken note of the report and its findings and will study it in detail.”
Her promise comes just days after the EU tax commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, set out plans to tackle tax avoidance by multi-national companies.
A spokesman for Ikea said the firm had not seen the report, but defended its management of its tax affairs.
He told the Financial Times: “The Ikea group pays taxes in accordance with laws and regulations, wherever we are present as retailer, manufacturer or in any other role.
“We have a strong commitment to manage our operations in a responsible way and to contribute to the societies where we operate.”
Google recently agreed to pay £130 million in back taxes to Britain after the Government launched a probe into the search giant’s tax arrangements.
Chancellor George Osborne hailed the agreement as a “major success”, saying: “When I became the Chancellor, Google paid no tax.
“Now Google is paying tax and I have introduced a new thing called a diverted profits tax to make sure they pay tax in the future.”
But the sum provoked a barrage of criticism for being too low, with John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, saying: “We cannot have mates’ rates when it comes to paying taxes.”