Saturday, April 10, 2021

Zara accused of “aggressive” tax avoidance

Zara owner Inditex has been accused of implementing “aggressive” tax avoidance strategies purportedly evading £493.66 million in taxes from 2011 to 2014.

The Green Party have accused the world‘s biggest fashion retailer of using techniques in the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland which are currently legal but raise “questions whether Inditex pays taxes where its real economic activity takes place.”

Owned by Europe’s richest person Amancio Ortega, Inditex owns numerous brands with 7100 stores in 93 countries. Two thirds of its sales however come from the fashion giant Zara.

In the report released in Brussels on Thursday the Greens said “multinationals and their tax consultants, together with states which choose to engage in destructive tax competition, will continue to get around efforts to clamp down on profit-shifting and tax avoidance.”

READ MORE: Matalan founder in £84m tax battle

This report comes amid an EU investigation into the legality of international companies’ tax deals with governments, following Apple‘s recent 13 billion Euro bill for an illegal deal with Ireland.

Inditex responded stating the report was “based on mistaken premises that lead to erroneous conclusions.”

The Greens are calling for a compulsory country by country report of financial data, a common consolidated corporate tax base and a minimum corporate income tax across the European Union.

Other organisations that have come under scrutiny from the EU probe include Starbucks, Ikea and McDonalds. 

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