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Police raid McDonald's French HQ in tax probe

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Police raid McDonald's French HQ in tax probe
Photo: _Skynet/Flickr
16:43 CEST+02:00
French police said on Thursday they raided the French headquarters of McDonald's last week as part of a tax fraud probe.
Agents of a special corruption, financial and tax crime unit searched the premises west of Paris on May 18th, seizing documents, a police source said.
   
French authorities suspect McDonald's has been illegally lowering its tax bill by channelling French earnings to Luxembourg, where its European headquarters is based, and where corporate taxes are much lower.
In April, McDonald's France was sent a €300 million bill for unpaid taxes on profits that are said to have been siphoned through Switzerland and Luxembourg, reported L'Express newspaper
 
McDonald's refused to comment to the media about massive bill at the time, but stated that it was "one of the biggest tax-paying companies in France".
 
It added that it has paid €1.2 billion in tax since 2009 and created 10,000 jobs in the process. 
 
The topic made headlines in January 2014, after French magazine L'Express revealed that tax officials already suspected the burger chain of tax avoidance in France.
 
"The loss for the French state is likely to be several hundred million euros," the paper reported at the time.
 
France has over 1,300 McDonald's stores - the second highest in Europe after Germany. The chain boasts annual sales in France of just over €4.4 billion, making France the biggest earner in Europe.
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