EPSU brings McDonald’s tax evasion menu in the European parliament

16.04.2015 | admin

Today, the European Federation of Public Services Unions has presented McDonald’s tax avoidance scheme and EPSU's tax justice priorities at third meeting of the European Parliament Special TAXE committee on tax rulings.   

The presentation was based on the recent report “UnHappyMeal”, co-published by an international coalition of European and US trade unions and War on Want, on Mac Donald’s tax avoidance strategy that involves profit-shifting through artificial subsidiaries in Luxembourg and Switzerland and, possibly, a tax ruling.

This Swiss/Luxembourg “burger” enables Europe’s fast-food leader to benefit from low tax regimes in both countries. The tax impact is huge as it is estimated that more than  € 1 billion  of much needed public income in Europe between 2009 and 2013 has been lost that could have been reinvested in public services we all need.

“This case illustrates a business model of maximizing profits and minimizing tax and wages which we strongly oppose.” says Nadja Salson, EPSU policy officer.

Following the publication of the report, the Commission has started investigating Mc Donald’s tax practices in light of EC state aids rules.

Key recommendations were presented for binding rules on tax transparency -public country-by-country reporting, directive for an automatic exchange of tax rulings- and on tax justice -a common corporate tax, ban on tax minimizing  rulings, and to stop the austerity cuts  in tax administrations. EPSU also called for an EU legal protection for whistleblowers.

Ms Salson concluded: “The TAXE committee is not as far-reaching as an enquiry committee which we called for, but we hope it will be strong enough to look at what went wrong, why governments and the Commission have left tax dumping become institutionalized and make recommendations to put an end to it. The good news is that there is much public appetite for tax and social justice !”.

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