"The Commission must investigate McDonald's tax practices," say S&D MEPs
S&D MEPs called on the European Commission to launch a proper investigation into McDonald's tax conduct in Europe.
According to a recent study of an alliance of European and American Unions presented today to the tax special committee in the European Parliament, Mc Donald's transferred €3.7 billion in profits to a subsidiary in Luxembourg between 2009 and 2013 and paid only €16 million in taxes. Due to this, EU member states missed out on tax revenues of €1 billion. (Read the study on No Tax Fraud)
S&D Group spokesperson on the tax special committee (TAXE) Peter Simon stated:
"If the preliminary results of the EU Commission's scrutiny confirm the study's findings, the tax model of McDonald's is clearly indecent and a slap in the face for the average tax payer.
"Something appears to have slipped out of place and has to be set right as quickly as possible. If one is aware of the fact that Mc Donald's, as the second largest employer worldwide, is repeatedly being criticised for social dumping, the urgency of finally making such illegitimate tax regimes illegal becomes particularly evident.
"The presentations by trade unions, tax advisers and tax auditors have made clear that illegitimate tax avoidance has become a business model stretching along entire industries. Tax rulings, which should originally serve the purpose to increase legal security for investors, are being abused for tax dumping purposes. For the future such illegitimate models of tax avoidance must become illegal."
S&D Group spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs and European Parliament’s negotiator on the TAXE report, Elisa Ferreira added:
"Since the European Commission – alerted by the findings of the study – is currently investigating McDonald's tax practices, among others, we Socialists and Democrats demand to grant the TAXE-special committee immediate access to all relevant information on tax rulings.
"The president of the EU-Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has given highest priority to the fight against tax avoidance. Now he is obliged to deliver on his promise."
Several representatives of Unions testified today in the committee on the deterioration of staff and material conditions in tax authorities during the last years due to austerity policies.
S&D MEP Anneliese Dodds who will draft the report on "Bringing transparency, coordination and convergence to Corporate Tax policies in the Union" concluded:
"According to statistics - A Report for the European Federation of Public Service Unions by the Labour Research Department UK - the crisis and subsequent austerity measures have resulted in considerable reductions in the number of tax inspectors in many EU member states.
Not only does this send a wrong signal, but also causes substantial economic problems. Tax investigators generate regular income, which exceeds their salaries many times over. Besides, strict tax laws will not be worth anything if they cannot be monitored due to insufficient staff resources. We ask the European Commission to ensure that member states act now to stop the reduction in capacity of tax administrations across Europe."