PARIS (Reuters) - French authorities have sent McDonald's France MCD.N a 300 million euro ($341 million/236 million pounds) bill for unpaid taxes on profits believed to have been funnelled through Luxembourg and Switzerland, business magazine L'Expansion reported on Tuesday.
It said tax officials had accused the giant U.S. burger chain of using a Luxembourg-based entity, McD Europe Franchising, to shift profits to lower-tax jurisdictions by billing the French division excessively for use of the company brand and other services.
McDonald’s France declined to comment on developments in the ongoing French tax investigation, first reported in 2014.
“McDonald’s is one of the biggest payers of company tax in France and we’re proud of it,” the group said in a statement emailed to Reuters on Tuesday. McDonald’s has paid 1.2 billion euros in tax and invested another 1 billion in the country since 2009, it said, creating 10,000 jobs.
In January 2014, McDonald’s confirmed that its French offices had been searched by tax officials three months earlier, after L’Expansion reported that it was suspected of transferring 2.2 billion euros out of the country to evade tax.
The company said at the time it firmly denied the magazine’s allegations “according to which McDonald’s supposedly hid part of its revenue from taxes in France”.
Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by Mark Heinrich
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