McDonald’s French headquarters searched in tax investigation

Financial and tax crime officials searched the company’s premises near Paris on 18 May

Zlata Rodionova
Thursday 26 May 2016 15:54
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McDonald's in December said that it is proud to be one of the biggest tax payers in France
McDonald's in December said that it is proud to be one of the biggest tax payers in France

McDonald’s French headquarters were searched on 18 May as part of an ongoing tax probe, according to police sources.

A preliminary inquiry has been opened after former investigating magistrate and politician Eva Joly filed a lawsuit in December on the behalf of an employee committee.

French authorities suspect McDonald's of illegally lowering its tax bill by channelling French earnings to Luxembourg, where its European headquarters is based, and where corporate taxes are much lower.

In April, McDonald's France was sent a €300m (£220m) bill for unpaid taxes on profits that are said to have been funelled through Switzerland and Luxembourg, according to L'Expansion magazine.

McDonald's has declined to comment on the search.

The fast-food chain previously said that it is proud to be one of the biggest tax payers in France.

“McDonald’s complies with all tax laws and rules in Europe and pays a significant amount of corporate income tax.

“In fact, from 2010-2014, the McDonald’s Companies paid more than $2.1bn just in corporate taxes in the European Union, with an average tax rate of almost 27 per cent," the company said in December.

A spokeswoman for the French budget ministry declined to comment due to confidentiality.

The news comes days after Google’s Paris headquarters were raided on Tuesday as part of a tax investigation.

Google said: “We comply with French law and are co-operating fully with authorities to answer their questions.”

Additional reporting by Reuters

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