McDonald’s Europe Facing Drama, Authorities Open Tax Fraud Investigation On Continent’s Biggest Fast Food Chain

Dec 02, 2015 07:03 PM EST | By Victoria Guerra


The European Union's antitrust regulator, the continent's Commission, has apparently launched an investigation to look further into the finances of McDonald's Europe franchises, as the biggest fast food chain in the world (and the Old Continent) faces a new claims of tax fraud.

Officials in Brussels have been reviewing cases on this supposed McDonald's tax fraud since last March, particularly in the Luxembourg franchise, and it's not the first time that the Golden Arches faces this kind of scrutiny in the European continent.

According to The Wall Street Journal, this McDonald's Europe investigation started last spring, when the European Commission asked Luxembourg to explain its tax arrangements with the chain, as apparently they've been violating UE regulations; and after months of scrutiny, officials are expected to announce they're moving forward with further investigations by next Thursday.

The commission has just released a report of one McDonald's Europe company from the small landlocked nation, showing insane revenues, as they received almost $900 million on royalties in the fiscal year of 2013 even though they only employed 13 staff, also pointing out that the European franchise recently moved its HQ from the United Kingdom to Geneva, supposedly also over tax evasion.

The Guardian reports that the French have also been looking at McDonald's Europe taxes in the past, as the Luxembourg franchise had posed questions a couple of years back.

According to Quartz, it's not only McDonald's under scrutiny over possible tax evasion in the UE, as a few weeks back it was revealed that Starbucks had also avoided taxes through illegal state aid from the Netherlands, going up to an insane amount of $34 million - and companies like Amazon and Apple Inc. are also under review from authorities in the region.

As far as the chain is concerned, McDonald's Europe has said that, even if an investigation goes forward, they expect it to go favorably.

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