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EU to quiz McDonald’s and Google over tax affairs

TECH GIANT Google and fast-food chain McDonald’s are to discuss their European taxes with EU lawmakers this week as pressure builds on multinationals to pay a greater share of tax.

Reuters reports that the two firms will be attending the European Parliament’s tax committee hearing on Wednesday, and will be joined by representatives from Apple and Ikea.

The event echoes a similar EU tax hearing that was staged in November last year, when HSBC, Google and nine other firms were questioned about their tax affairs.

The hearing carries no political weight, meaning that no law changes can be passed following the hearing, but it epitomises the increasing pressure that large companies find themselves under when paying European taxes.

Last month Ikea was accused of using aggressive tax strategies to avoid €1bn in taxes over the past six years. European Parliament group the Greens/EFA claimed the Swedish retailer used “a series of tax loopholes” to shift its profits to several European countries. Soren Hansen, CEO of Inter-Ikea group, will be attending the hearing to defend Ikea’s tax situation.

Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles have both turned down the opportunity to attend the hearing, with both companies defending their tax positions in European countries from EU scrutiny.


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