Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Swedish Facebook earns billions – pays only a few thousand in taxes

Published 23 July 2023
- By Editorial Staff
Facebook Sweden generates a lot of money for its parent company - but very little corporate tax.

An investigation by major Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet shows that Facebook Sweden earned up to 4.4 billion SEK last year for its American owner Meta. At the same time, it paid only SEK 45,624 in corporate tax – which is less than what a regular newsstand pays.

According to the audit, the 4.4 billion came from “the resale of advertising to designated Swedish customers” – in other words, the Swedes from whom Facebook Sweden made its money.

“But at the same time, the company paid only SEK 45,624 in corporate tax. The reason, according to SvD, is the way owner Meta has chosen to structure the business – a foreign company higher up in the group is paid for the advertising space sold to Swedish customers. This means that there is not much profit left in the Swedish annual report”, the newspaper notes.

At the same time, it can be seen that Facebook Sweden has paid SEK 134 million to Meta in a so-called “group contribution” – and that because of this elaborate arrangement, it suddenly shows losses in the millions instead of profits in the billions – and thus does not have to pay taxes.

They also compared an ordinary newsstand located in the same neighborhood as Facebook Sweden’s headquarters. It turns out that the small kiosk pays 65,000 in corporate tax – more than Facebook, even though its turnover is 390 times lower. However, Facebook Sweden still pays 51.3 million SEK in statutory social contributions.

When Meta is asked why they pay such a low corporate tax, the Swedish organization refuses to answer. Instead, SvD refers to the global press service. Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson of the Moderate party also refuses to comment on Facebook’s tax arrangements.

It can also be mentioned that France has recently introduced a new legal framework, which means that companies earning more than SEK 25 million in the country – and SEK 750 million worldwide – must pay at least three percent tax in France. However, there is no such legislation in Sweden.

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