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EC to probe McDonald’s tax arrangements with Luxembourg

7 December 2015

 

‘The European Commission is to investigate McDonald’s over a tax arrangement with Luxembourg. It is not known what aspect of the group’s Luxembourg tax arrangements has triggered the state aid investigation but the decision to launch the probe follows a report on the “LuxLeaks” documents from the charity War on Want and a coalition of union groups. They claim McDonald’s has avoided €1bn in tax payments across Europe. The report focused on the period between 2009 and 2013 when the firm relocated its European headquarters from London to Switzerland and set up a holding company for intellectual property in Luxembourg. A statement from the company read: “From 2010-14, the McDonald’s companies paid more than $2.1bn in corporate taxes in the European Union, with an average tax rate of almost 27%.”

Sources: The Guardian, Financial Times, Independent i, The Times’

This is local news in a sense. Finchley is home not only to BKL’s London office but also to the UK head office of McDonald’s. A nondescript brick edifice next to East Finchley station, there are two flagpoles outside where one can often see, flying side by side, the Union Jack and a McDonald’s flag. It’s the ideal place to reflect on what it means to live in Britain in the 21st century. It remains to be seen whether, at any point during the investigation, a white flag will be raised too.

Though we are usually assiduous in protecting confidentiality, we can on this occasion confirm that despite their physical proximity to us, Ronald McDonald and his Board have overlooked the gem on their doorstep and have never favoured us with their business.

Finchley’s fast food connections go beyond the golden arches. This is the area in which the first London branch of KFC was opened in 1968. (Kentucky Fried Chicken originated in the city of Corbin, and we cannot imagine a time in history when the spoken phrase “We have a lot to thank Corbin for” could sound more contentious in certain circles). Here at BKL, we prefer to skip straight to dessert. Our Facebook page has photos from our joyous encounters with cake this year, including our MacMillan Coffee Morning and the sugarcraft session from our Learn a Skill events. Our Great BKL Bake Off series started in October and will continue into 2016, with photos on the way.