Tax, finance and development
In 2010, ActionAid exposed how SABMiller, one of the world’s largest breweries, avoids taxes in African countries (see ActionAid website). One of the firm’s tax avoidance strategies involves royalty payments to a Dutch entity that owns the brand names of originally African beers. I studied the accounts of this entity and found that an agreement with the Dutch tax authority apparently allowed additional write-offs for tax purposes, beyond the costs of acquiring and maintaining the brands. As a result, a large part of the royalty income seems to remain untaxed. SABMiller claims there is no such agreement, but did not yet explain the nature of the additional write-offs. Read the full story in the Guardian of 3 February 2013.
Photo: The Guardian