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THE European Commission has pledged to study a report claiming that Swedish furniture giant Ikea may have underpaid taxes by 1 billion euros (US$1.1 billion) between 2009 and 2014 due to aggressive tax strategies.

 

Research commissioned by the Green/EFA group in the European Parliament claims to show that Ikea “structured itself to dodge 1 billion euros in taxes over the last six years using onshore European tax havens,” the group said in a statement.

 

In response, the commission said over the weekend that it would examine the claims. “The commission has taken note of the report and its findings and will study it in detail,” commission spokeswoman on financial services and tax affairs Vanessa Mock said.

 

According to the Greens, Ikea uses “a series of tax loopholes in different European countries, namely the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg to avoid paying taxes,” the statement said.

 

“One of the techniques is shifting royalties from each Ikea store to a subsidiary in the Netherlands, which acts as a conduit. The royalties go in and out of the Netherlands untaxed and end up in Liechtenstein, or at least partly,” it added.

 

Ikea defended its management of its tax affairs, saying it pays “taxes in full compliance with national and international tax rules and regulations.”

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