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IKEA accused of avoiding paying tax in Europe

EU regulators are to examine claims by Green party lawmakers that Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has avoided paying at least one billion euros in taxes in Europe.

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IKEA accused of avoiding paying tax in Europe

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Furniture giant IKEA is the latest multi-national to be accused of avoiding paying taxes in Europe.

The claim comes from a group of EU lawmakers who said the Swedish firm failed to pay at least one billion euros in taxes over a six-year period from 2009 to 2014.

According to a study commissioned by the Green party in the European Parliament it did that by shifting royalty income through a Dutch company and possibly though Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

The European Commission has said it will look into the matter. It has previously ordered Dutch and Luxembourg authorities to recover up to 30 million euros from Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler respectively and is considering further moves against tax avoiders.

IKEA responded by saying: “We pay our taxes in full compliance with national and international tax rules and regulations.” It added that it paid an effective corporate income tax rate of about 19 percent last year.

So called profit shifting is legal, but campaigners say it deprives governments of income. Such legal loopholes are coming under increasing scrutiny having been ignored for years by regulators