Global Companies’ Secret Tax Deals in Luxembourg

Pulitzer Center grantee Mathilde Dratwa produced this animation for the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) to help explain how some of the largest global companies save billions on their tax bills by hiding earnings in Luxembourg.

According to an investigation by the Washington-based ICIJ, “Pepsi, IKEA, FedEx and 340 other international companies have secured secret deals from Luxembourg, allowing many of them to slash their global tax bills while maintaining little presence in the tiny Central European duchy, leaked documents show.”

“Big companies can book big tax savings by creating complicated accounting and legal structures that move profits to low-tax Luxembourg from higher-tax countries where they’re headquartered or do lots of business. In some instances, the leaked records indicate, companies have enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1 percent on the profits they’ve shuffled into Luxembourg.”

You can read the full report on ICIJ’s website. Versions of the story are being published by 28 major outlets across Europe and North America, including The Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung and NDR/WDR in Germany, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Le Monde, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, CNBC, Denmark’s Politiken, Brazil’s Folha de S. Paulo and others.