According to Disclose information, General Electric, an American industrial giant, used tax optimization in France between 2015-2020, allowing it transfer as much as 800 million euros of profit overseas.
These are practices that concern the French gas turbine unit of GE in Belfort. Employees sued him in December 2021 for specifically denouncing his tax optimization scheme. They had filed a lawsuit for fraud on the right of employee participation.
The American multinational, which took over the Belfort turbine factory from Alstom in 2015 would have lost 800 million euros in profits in Switzerland and Delaware. This is a difference of between 150 million and 300 million. According to Disclose's audits and balance sheets, the French tax authorities were informed that the factory had a surplus of 800 million euros.
This financial arrangement stated that the Belfort plant was a contract manufacturing unit or provider of GE Swiss subsidiaries. These Swiss subsidiaries are responsible for sales and most of the profits. For the use of its technology and brand, the power plant turbine factory paid royalty payments to its US parent company.
According to Disclose, Bercy would have approved the tax scheme before it was implemented, as per a protocol of "relationship trust" with tax administration. This procedure was established by the Ministry of Finance with a few companies including GE in 2013. It states that the company prepares its tax plans upstream with tax authorities. However, they promise not to conduct an audit. Bercy didn't respond to our requests when we reached her.
A spokesperson for the industrialist said that GE respected the tax laws of the countries where it operates. All companies that manufacture or operate in multiple countries have a transfer price policy that ensures that all transactions between them are priced at an equal price. He said that prices that would be applicable to transactions between unrelated parties would be appropriate.
The Sud Industrie union and GE's Social and Economic Committee (CSE), filed summons in December 2021. They accused the company of reducing the tax result for the Belfort gasturbines entity (GE EPF). This was done by transferring wealth to subsidiaries overseas, which offer better taxation. They demand a catch up in participation for the period 2015-2021.
CSE has estimated that around one billion euros was the value of the profits found in tax havens, to the detriment GE EPF in the recent years.
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