AXA Disputes Ruling that It Must Pay Millions of Euros in Back Taxes: News Report

By Alexandre Rajbhandari | November 16, 2020

AXA SA was ordered to pay tens of millions of euros in back taxes last year after French fiscal authorities deemed a Luxembourg-based structure was improperly used to avoid tax payments in France, Mediapart reported on Sunday.

French fiscal authorities found in 2016 that AXA earned at least 130 million euros ($154 million) of undeclared profit in a structure based in Luxembourg between 2005 and 2010, Mediapart said, citing documents from the French tax office.

The Matignon Finance structure was used to grant loans to AXA’s foreign subsidiaries, it said. The body benefited from a tax ruling by Luxembourg’s authorities that allowed it to be exempt from tax payments.

The entity was set up by Societe Generale SA, which received an 8.5 million-euro fee for the service, according to the Mediapart report. A spokesperson for SocGen declined to comment on Sunday.

In January 2020, AXA held talks with the French tax authorities to contest the interpretation of tax avoidance.

“The tax laws of France and Luxembourg were fully respected,” AXA said in a statement to Bloomberg on Sunday. “AXA remains confident regarding the outcome of this process and will keep collaborating, in all transparency, with fiscal authorities to assert its rights.”

Photograph: View of AXA headquarters in Paris on March 6, 2018, in Paris. Photo credit: Christophe Morin / Bloomberg

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