>> It's big on bargains for its customers, but could Ikea have given itself too much of a discount when it comes to tax?>> The European Commission has opened an investigation into the Netherlands' tax treatment of Inter IKEA, which is one of the two groups operating the IKEA business.
>> eRegulators are investigating the tax structure of Inter IKEA based in the Netherlands. It operates the Swedish firm's franchise business and collects a fee of 3% of turnover from all IKEA shops via a subsidiary. That's allowed significant portions of its profits since 2006 to be paid untaxed in Luxembourg and Lichtenstein.
>> We have concerns that two Dutch tax rulings from 2006 and 2011 may have allowed Inter IKEA to pay less tax and given them an unfair advantage compared to other companies subject to the same national taxation rules in the Netherlands which would, if confirmed, be in breach of a EU state aid rules.
>> IKEA is just the latest major corporation under the spotlight by European regulators for tax avoidance. Starbucks, Amazon, and Apple have been ordered to pay up to billions in owed taxes to member states. Inter IKEA, though, says it obeys tax rules in whatever country it operates in.