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Golden Dodges report uncovers McDonald’s global tax scam
Golden Dodges, a new report from the IUF, Public Services International (PSI) and the North American Service Employees International Union (SEIU), reveals how McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast food company as well as the largest franchiser, has methodically exploited the tax system to avoid billions in taxes. The report details McDonald’s use of the franchise system to funnel low tax royalty payments to a network of hidden subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. Routing cash to 42 branches and subsidiaries in tax havens (far more than the 11 McDo publicly disclosed last year) allowed the company to avoid paying USD $1.8 Billion in tax between 2009 and 2013, including EUR 1 billion in Europe and AUD 497 million in Australia. During these years, the Luxembourg-based operation, which employs 13 people, recorded revenue of €3.7 billion, on which it reported paying a mere €16 million in tax.
IUF general secretary Ron Oswald condemned McDonald’s, which last year booked USD 87.8 billion in system-wide sales, for gaming the system to save billions in taxes while cynically insisting that low wages were the key to competitiveness. The report urges governments to devote the necessary resources to further investigate McDonald’s tax practices.