February 15, 2016 / 11:34 AM / in 2 years

EU regulators to examine lawmakers' report on IKEA taxes

A police car is seen in front of an Ikea store in Vasteras, central Sweden, August 10, 2015. REUTERS/Peter Kruger/TT News Agency

BRUSSELS - European Union state aid regulators will examine a report by a group of EU lawmakers accusing Swedish furniture retailer IKEA [IKEA.UL] of avoiding paying at least 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in taxes over a six-year period.

IKEA has said it paid an effective corporate income tax rate of about 19 percent in 2015.

The study commissioned by the Green party in the European Parliament said the world’s biggest furniture retailer was able to do this by shifting royalty income through a Dutch company and possibly though Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

It said the company also benefited from tax schemes in Luxembourg and Belgium.

The European Commission, which has already ordered Dutch and Luxembourg authorities to recover up to 30 million euros from Starbucks (SBUX.O) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCHA.MI) respectively, said it would look into the matter.

“The Commission has taken note of the report and its findings and will study it in detail,” Commission spokeswoman Vanessa Mock said.

Separately, the Netherlands on Dec. 23 challenged the Commission’s decision at the Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe’s second-highest, the Commission’s Official Journal showed on Monday.

Fiat followed on Dec. 29 with its appeal and Luxembourg on Dec. 30.

Hearings are likely toward the end of the year, with judges expected to rule next year.

Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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