Paris – January 22, 2014 (hospitalitybusinessnews.com) McDonald’s France has confirmed that tax inspectors visited its local headquarters. However, the company denied any wrongdoing after French newspaper l’Express reported it had transferred over 2.2 billion euros ($3 billion) abroad since 2009 to dodge taxes.
McDonalds France said in a statement it has cooperated with inspectors who visited its headquarters, last October, as part of what it said was a regular check.
“McDonald’s firmly denies the accusation made by l’Express according to which McDonald’s supposedly hid part of its revenue from taxes in France,” it said in a statement issued late Tuesday.
According to the newspaper article (and our French is not what it used to be) , l’Express credits McDonalds with not only being a hamburger specialist but additionally having developed a “secret fiscal sandwich” whereby McDonalds reduced most of their turnover during the past five years.
L’Expansion reported that tax inspectors visited the site on October 15 as part of a probe into the suspected transfer since 2009 of around 330 to 650 million euros of revenue per year to Switzerland and Luxembourg.
McDonald’s France said the company and franchises have paid all of their taxes.
France, which has a corporate tax rate of 33 percent compared with an EU average of nearly 23 percent, is clamping down on international companies that shift profits to other countries with lower taxes.
Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve declined to comment on any action by tax authorities targeting McDonald’s.
“What I can tell is that we have at our disposal a full arsenal to fight against fraud and tax optimization,” he told France Info radio, according to reports.
Editors Note: So, as a word to the wise it looks like optimizing your taxes, in France, may be illegal! So just hand over 100% of your revenues to the Government