An ICIJ Investigation Luxembourg Leaks: Global Companies’ Secrets Exposed

New Leak Reveals Luxembourg Tax Deals for Disney, Koch Brothers Empire

Latest “Lux Leaks” files obtained by ICIJ disclose secret tax structures sought by “Big 4” accounting giants for brand name international companies.

Key findings

  • Pepsi, IKEA, AIG, Coach, Deutsche Bank, Abbott Laboratories and nearly 340 other companies have secured secret deals from Luxembourg that allowed many of them to slash their global tax bills.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers has helped multinational companies obtain at least 548 tax rulings in Luxembourg from 2002 to 2010. These legal secret deals feature complex financial structures designed to create drastic tax reductions. The rulings provide written assurance that companies’ tax-saving plans will be viewed favorably by Luxembourg authorities.
  • Companies have channeled hundreds of billions of dollars through Luxembourg and saved billions of dollars in taxes. Some firms have enjoyed effective tax rates of less than 1 percent on the profits they’ve shuffled into Luxembourg.
  • Many of the tax deals exploited international tax mismatches that allowed companies to avoid taxes both in Luxembourg and elsewhere through the use of so-called hybrid loans.
  • In many cases Luxembourg subsidiaries handling hundreds of millions of dollars in business maintain little presence and conduct little economic activity in Luxembourg. One popular address – 5, rue Guillaume Kroll – is home to more than 1,600 companies.
  • A separate set of documents reported on by ICIJ on Dec. 9 expanded the list of companies seeking tax rulings from Luxembourg to include American entertainment icon The Walt Disney Co., politically controversial Koch industries and 33 other firms. The new files revealed that alongside PwC tax rulings were also brokered by Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG, among other accounting firms.

About this investigation

Luxembourg Leaks is a collaborative investigation that exposes for the first time on a global scale how Luxembourg works as a tax haven in the middle of Europe.

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Whistleblowers who leak information to journalists, or reveal unlawful behavior, are a step closer to improved legal protections across Europe.

The European Commission has opened an investigation into one of the 546 secret tax deals exposed by ICIJ’s Lux Leaks project almost five years ago.

A European Parliament committee found that seven member states facilitate aggressive tax planning, and recommended an EU financial police force be set up.

Global technology and outsourcing conglomerate Accenture has paid Swiss authorities around $200 million over tax claims prompted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalist’s Lux Leaks investigation.

Jean-Claude Juncker’s legacy remains tainted by his Luxembourg past as he bows out as the European Commission president this year.

Finnish companies using offshore tax havens have faced strong condemnation from the country’s politicians since Yle television program MOT revealed the secret Luxembourg tax arrangements used by companies like packaging manufacturer Huhtamaki and construction firm SRV.

  The Koch brothers are renowned for their libertarian views, their political funding and influence, and their privately-owned global business empire. But…

Latest “Lux Leaks” files obtained by ICIJ disclose secret tax structures sought by “Big 4” accounting giants for brand name international companies.

ICIJ’s German partners take a day trip to Luxembourg, looking for answers. But all they find are mailboxes and more questions.

It is called the flagship of Swedish health care: the modern, new university hospital New Karolinska Solna. But, according to an investigation by Swedish TV program “Uppdrag granskning” (Mission: Investigation), large sums from the prestigious project are routed to the tax haven of Luxembourg.

  Why is the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, a Canadian Crown corporation investing money through a foreign tax haven? CBC reporter…

Jean-Claude Juncker was met with more questions about his position at the head of the European Commission and Luxembourg’s tax policies when he arrived at the G20 leaders’ summit in Australia.

Cartoons and illustrations are also telling the #LuxLeaks story around the world. Here are a few that were shared on social media:.

Want to see how global companies manage to avoid billions in taxes by routing profits through Luxembourg? It’s all there in the leaked documents, but understanding the complex structures companies set up is not an easy task. Here are a few tips.

FULL TRANSCRIPT: OECD’s tax policy director Pascal Saint-Amans on Luxembourg’s controversial tax rulings, the significance of the Luxembourg Leaks revelations, and on what needs to happen for a fairer international tax system.

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance, defended his country’s handling of controversial tax rulings in the wake of ICIJ’s investigation into tax avoidance by major corporations.

The international business and philanthropic group led by Israel’s richest woman includes a Luxembourg subsidiary that shares its address with more than 1200 other companies, and uses complex financial structures.

  The Luxembourg Leaks project brought together more than 80 journalists from media organizations all around the world. Explore the map to…

Luxembourg may face new investigations into its tax policies as it scrambles to defend itself following an ICIJ investigation that has exposed hundreds of secret tax deals handed to some of the world’s largest multinational companies.

Despite reporting decades of miserable results, IKEA’s Australian arm has earned an estimated $1 billion in profits since 2003, and almost all of it has been exported tax-free.

A Canadian federal agency set up European shell companies and exploited loopholes that helped it avoid paying foreign taxes — a move that could internationally undermine Canada’s stance on corporate tax avoidance.

PricewaterhouseCoopers helped three Brazilian banks use Luxembourg operations to claim write offs for “intangible assets” that allowed them to sidestep nearly $90 million in taxes between them, according to analysis by Folha de S. Paulo.

Investigations by The Guardian and The Irish Times has uncovered the multi-billion dollar secrets of some of the world’s largest multinationals, including British and Irish-headquartered firms like Shire, Dyson, and Glanbia.

Australia’s tax chief may go after some of the country’s biggest corporations for potential discrepancies in their tax payments following the release of confidential agreements made between Luxembourg and multinational corporations.

French journalist Edouard Perrin broadcast his first program on the Luxembourg Leaks documents in 2012. Here he reflects on how the story has grown in collaboration with ICIJ and its partners.

Luxembourg Leaks

Watch: Tricks of the Trade

They are everyday brand names, products and services we all know and use – but where does all the money go and…

The team and the goals behind this six-month investigative collaboration.

Tiny European duchy a “magical fairyland” for corporations seeking to cut tax bills.

Global accounting giants are prime architects of the offshore money maze – and supporting characters in an array of offshore scandals.

Luxembourg Leaks

Key Findings

Pepsi, IKEA, AIG, Coach, Deutsche Bank, Abbott Laboratories and nearly 340 other companies have secured secret deals from Luxembourg that allowed many…

  ICIJ’s Luxembourg Leaks investigation is based on a confidential cache of secret tax agreements approved by Luxembourg authorities, that provide tax-relief…

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