International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Nike shifted billions in trademark profits between subsidiaries to avoid high taxes in Europe

ICIJ reports: "In the three years after that conference call, its after-tax profits would jump by an astounding 55 percent, to $1.88 billion, thanks in Journalists logo substantial part to a drop in its worldwide effective tax rate from 34.9 percent to 24.8 percent – on its way to 13.2 percent last year. .... Since switching property rights to the Swoosh and other trademarks from the Bermuda subsidiary to the Dutch partnership in 2014, Nike’s pile of offshore profits has continued to grow. At the end of May 2017, it had reached $12.2 billion. These accumulated earnings have been taxed at less than 2 percent by foreign tax authorities – and not at all in the United States.

In late 2016, the ministry had urged other EU member states to delay reforms because of the heavy toll they were likely to take on the Netherlands, where the government estimates that 77,660 jobs are linked to U.S. multinationals that have been drawn there by the possibility of developing tax structures using CVs.

Read the entire investigatory story and analysis by the ICIJ here!

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