McDonald’s to pay more than €1B to settle French tax case

PARIS — American fast-food giant McDonald’s will pay more than €1 billion to settle a dispute with the French authorities over tax avoidance.

The president of a Paris tribunal on Thursday validated an agreement between McDonald’s and French fiscal authorities under which the U.S. restaurant chain will pay back €737 million in unpaid taxes and a €508 million fine, a spokesperson for France’s public finance directorate-general said Thursday.

This is the highest amount ever paid to the French administration in a tax case, French authorities said. The agreement covers unpaid taxes between 2009 and 2020.

McDonald’s has been under fire for reducing the amount of profits taxed in France by transferring part of the gains from its French subsidiaries to its headquarter in Luxembourg.

France’s financial prosecutor launched a probe into McDonald’s tax practices in 2016 following a complaint filed by McDonald’s employees, who were represented by lawyer Eva Joly, a former Green MEP.

McDonald’s tax arrangements with Luxembourg have also been questioned by EU authorities. After a three-year investigation, the European Commission concluded in 2018 that McDonald’s didn’t benefit from illegal tax treatment from Luxembourg.

McDonald’s to pay more than €1B to settle French tax case

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