EU targets IKEA with €1bn tax avoidance probe

European Union regulators are investigating whether Swedish furniture manufacturer IKEA avoided paying at least €1 billion ($1.1 billion) in EU taxes over the past six years.

EU competition boss Margrethe Vestager confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg that she is looking at documents presented by the European Parliament's Green group earlier this year.

“We have received the documentation that the Greens have made and we are going through it but we have nothing to comment as the case stands right now,” Vestager said.

The furniture giant is reportedly using unfair loopholes to avoid paying taxes.

According to the data, the company dodged taxes on 84 percent of the €14.3 billion in revenue it received from retail outlets from 1991 to 2014. The Green group claimed in 2014 the German budget had missed out on €35 million, while France lost €11.6 million in revenue.

In response to the allegations IKEA said the company has paid nearly €822 million in taxes worldwide. The figure “equals an effective corporate income tax rate of just below 20 percent.”

IKEA’s tax issues are in line with current international regulations, according to the company.

Earlier this month, the EU competition regulator ordered US technology corporation Apple to repay Ireland a record €13 billion ($14.5 billion) in unpaid taxes. The ruling has been criticized by Washington. American online retailer Amazon is awaiting a decision on its taxes in Luxembourg.