According to Disclose, information published Sunday May 29, 2015 by the investigative site Disclose, General Electric (USA) used tax optimization in France between 2015-2020 to allow it to transfer upwards of 800 million dollars abroad. These practices were found at the French gas turbine unit of GE in Belfort. Employees sued him in December 2021 for exposing 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. This would have allowed 800 million euros of profits to be escaped to Switzerland and Delaware. This is a shortfall 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 around 800 million euros. This financial arrangement stated that the Belfort plant was a contract manufacturing unit or contractor to GE's Swiss subsidiary, which handles the sales and make 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 plan with the tax authorities upstream. The tax authorities do not undertake to conduct an audit.
A spokesperson for the company 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 apply transactions to unrelated parties are not acceptable. Bercy was not available to respond to AFP's requests.
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 recent decades. EDF announced that it would purchase a portion of the site's activities in exchange for 1.2 billion dollars.