McDonalds agree to more than £1bn payment to avoid tax evasion court trial

Fast-food chain McDonald's has agreed to hand over more than a billion pounds to avoid a tax evasion trial going to court.

A French court was set to host the trial, but the fast-food chain has agreed to pay the hefty sum of fines and back taxess to settle its dispute with French authorities.

Officials have been chasing the US firm since 2014 over its alleged profit funnelling, which meant it could pay lower tax on its French earnings.

Investigations allege that McDonald's was funnelling profits made in the country through Luxembourg, with prosecutors alleging that the system was put in place so McDonald's could pay a lower tax.

Police raided the Paris headquarters of the fast-food chain in 2016 and had accused the company of slashing hundreds of millions from its yearly tax bill.

Bosses of the Golden Arches have stressed that paying the fine does not amount to an admission of guilt and have consistently denied any wrongdoing.

The payment, which is a staggering £1.88billion, will mean the company no longer has to appear at court over the fines and back taxes.

McDonald's will now not be subject to a lengthy legal trial, which could have seen its financial records publicised.

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Denis Chemla, a lawyer acting on behalf of McDonald's, said: "It’s a judicial agreement…. to avoid a trial, which is a very long and inevitably uncertain process."

In a statement released by the company, McDonald's, who have 1,500 restaurants and almost 25,000 employees in France, say they have paid the £1.88billion in back taxes.

French authorities have been keen to take a hard line on large corporations, raiding the Parisian offices of Google that same year, Metro reported.

Google had paid out £900m in taxes and fines in 2019, a huge amount that was still below what the state had alleged the company owed.

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