A cache of secret tax documents released Tuesday shed further light on how Luxembourg has helped multinational companies to lower their tax bills, in a second major leak that could intensify pressure on the Grand Duchy to alter its tax practices.
The latest documents, disclosed by the Washington-based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists at late evening local time in Brussels, show how 35 major companies, including Walt Disney Co. DIS, -0.47% and Koch Industries Inc., used complex financial structures to funnel profits through subsidiaries in Luxembourg, potentially avoiding taxes in other jurisdictions.
One Disney subsidiary reported a pretax profit in Luxembourg of more than €1 billion ($1.2 billion) over four years, but it paid just €2.8 million of tax, according to the ICIJ, a tax rate of about 0.25%.
A spokeswoman for Disney called the disclosures “deliberately misleading,” adding that “Disney’s global tax rate has averaged 34% over the past five years.” She said the Luxembourg arrangement hadn’t “meaningfully affected the taxes we pay in any jurisdiction globally.”
The ICIJ said the centerpiece of privately held Koch’s tax arrangements was an internal bank called Arteva Europe, which managed the cash flows of the conglomerate’s European operations through Luxembourg. A Koch subsidiary paid $6.4 million in taxes on $269 million in profits from 2010 through 2013, the group said.
Koch representatives couldn’t be reached for comment.