Facebook, McDonald's and Amazon are among 11 companies that will soon be questioned by European Union lawmakers for its low-tax deals. The internet retail giant is currently awaiting a decision on its fiscal agreement with Luxembourg from antitrust regulators. The hearing with the EU will take place next week on Monday November 16th, and the companies are voluntarily participating in the questioning.
Another company set to be questioned by the EU is Barclays. The companies will be questioned by the European Parliament’s special tax committee over their taxation practices. The companies had declined to attend previous voluntary meetings.
Last month, Fiat and Starbucks were both ordered by the EU to repay tens of millions of euros in back taxes. These orders represented the initial decisions of EU antitrust regulators regarding fiscal deals that enabled corporations to avoid paying taxes. Now the company might place similar sanctions against Amazon and the others.
The chairman of the committee Alain Lamassoure said in an email, “I am satisfied that, this time, most of the multinational companies invited have decided to seize the opportunity to share their views with us on current developments in the corporate tax world.”
The investigation by the EU Parliament started after documents were leaked by a group of investigative journalists. The documents showed that Luxembourg was agreeing to hundreds of secretive fiscal deals called tax rulings. Many companies throughout the world agreed to these tax rulings, including Pepsi and Walt Disney.
Amazon currently has more than 1,000 employees working in the tiny country of Luxembourg. If the EU rules against Amazon, it is very likely that the company will be forced to pay an increased amount of taxes.
Other companies that will send representatives to the November 16th meeting include Walt Disney, Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Ikea, HSBC and Philip Morris. Only one company, Walmart, has declined the invitation to appear.