McDonald's France confirmed on Wednesday (January 22) that tax inspectors visited its local headquarters but denied any wrongdoing after French media reported it had transferred over €2.2 billion abroad since 2009 to dodge taxes.
The French arm of the U.S. fast-food chain said in a statement it cooperated with inspectors who visited its headquarters near Paris last October as part of what it said was a regular check.
L'Expansion reported that tax inspectors visited the site on October 15, 2013 as part of a probe into the suspected transfer since 2009 of around €330 to €650 million of revenue per year to Switzerland and Luxembourg.
McDonald's France said the group and its 314 local franchises paid corporate taxes in full to the French state, amounting to one billion euros since 2009.
France, which has a corporate tax rate of 33 percent compared with an EU average of nearly 23 percent, is clamping down on international companies that shift profits to other countries with lower taxes.
Kader Diop, who has worked in a Mcdonald's restaurant in the Paris suburbs for 14 years, said that he always wondered why a company that was doing so well was not making any profits.
He said that he even hired an expert in 2011 to examine his restaurant's accounts but that the expert had a hard time obtaining the accounting documents from the parent company.
France is the second most profitable market after the United States for McDonald's, according to French media.
Presented by Adam Justice