Greens Say Ikea Avoided at Least $1.1 Billion in Taxes to EU

  • Report says Germany lost 35 million euros in revenue in 2014
  • Green party asks EU to investigate the furniture retailer

Ikea avoided paying at least 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in taxes owed to nations in the European Union over the past six years, the EU’s Green party said as it sought a government investigation of findings in a report it commissioned.

The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament said the world’s biggest furniture retailer is using loopholes to avoid paying taxes, according to a Feb. 12 statement on the party’s website.

The report comes as European officials are pushing forward with probes into Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. for tax deals they set up in Ireland and Luxembourg respectively. The EU ruled last month that Belgium’s tax arrangement with about 35 companies including Anheuser-Busch InBev SA was illegal and separately it struck down deals involving Starbucks Corp. and Fiat SpA last year.

“Ikea is just the latest example of a major multinational going to great lengths to avoid its tax responsibility,” according to an e-mailed statement by the Greens. “There is also an urgent need to change the regulatory framework and environment, which facilitates corporate tax avoidance in Europe.”

The commission received the Green’s report and will study it in detail, Vanessa Mock, spokeswoman for the financial services and taxation, said in an e-mailed statement.

Ikea avoided paying taxes on 84 percent of the 14.3 billion euros in royalty income it received from retail outlets from 1991 to 2014, according to the statement. As a result, Germany missed out on 35 million euros in revenue in 2014 and France 11.6 million euros, it said.

A voicemail and e-mail left with Luxembourg-based Ikea during off-business hours weren’t immediately returned.

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