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EU regulators to examine lawmakers' report on IKEA taxes

[BRUSSELS] European Union state aid regulators will examine a report by a group of EU lawmakers accusing Swedish furniture retailer IKEA of avoiding paying at least 1 billion euros (US$1.1 billion) in taxes over a six-year period.

IKEA has said it paid an effective corporate income tax rate of about 19 per cent in 2015.

The study commissioned by the Green party in the European Parliament said the world's biggest furniture retailer was able to do this by shifting royalty income through a Dutch company and possibly though Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.

It said the company also benefited from tax schemes in Luxembourg and Belgium.

The European Commission, which has already ordered Dutch and Luxembourg authorities to recover up to 30 million euros from Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles respectively, said it would look into the matter.

"The Commission has taken note of the report and its findings and will study it in detail," Commission spokeswoman Vanessa Mock said.

Separately, the Netherlands on Dec 23 challenged the Commission's decision at the Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe's second-highest, the Commission's Official Journal showed on Monday.

Fiat followed on Dec 29 with its appeal and Luxembourg on Dec 30.

Hearings are likely towards the end of the year, with judges expected to rule next year.

REUTERS