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Starbucks Under Investigation for Unfair Tax Deal with the Netherlands

The European Union believes the Dutch government gave Starbucks a massive tax break.


Authorities from the European Union are publicly accusing the Netherlands of making a sketchy tax deal with coffee giant StarbucksAccording to the New York Times, the EU is worried that the country offered Starbucks a massive tax break, giving the Netherlands "unfair advantages over other countries in the bloc."

A report by the bloc's competition commissioner — which was published last Friday — focuses on a ruling by the Dutch government. The Netherlands may have allowed Starbucks to pay lower taxes than it should have "by allowing it to shift revenues away from the Netherlands," where, until recently, its European headquarters were located. If found to be true, Starbucks will most likely have to pay large amounts of back taxes. The investigation into Starbucks is in response to growing concern and anger at "the scale of tax breaks for multinational companies in a period of weak growth and high unemployment in many parts of Europe."

This isn't the first time Starbucks has received flack for the tax breaks it receives. Bloomberg notes that the chain was heavily criticized for pay low corporate taxes in Britain. In an attempt to rectify the situation, Starbucks announced that it would pay 10 million pounds ($15.4 million USD) in U.K corporation tax this year. Then again, that's chump change compared to the $16.4 billion Starbucks amassed in revenue during the 2014 fiscal year.

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