Tax benefits, Kering are in Swiss trouble again: a member of parliament, from Canton Ticino, files criminal charges

Kering are in trouble again, in Switzerland. As reported by the Tribune de Genève, a local newspaper, last Wednesday Matteo Pronzini, a parliamentarian from Canton Ticino, member of the Socialist Party (MPS), allegedly filed criminal charges against some managers of the luxury giant. He formally accused them of taking illegal advantage of a few tax benefits, in the Swiss district. According to the Tribune de Genève, on top of that Pronzini supposedly asked the Council of Ticino to establish a Parliamentary Investigative Committee to look into tax benefits allegedly granted to Kering as a reward for relocating the Luxury Goods International logistic subsidiary. The story is more complicated than that and partially dates back to November 2017. At that time, Milan’s general attorney had accused Gucci, a fashion house that belongs to the French group, of getting around Italy’s Inland Revenue while recording in Switzerland some business activities run in Italy. Investigation soon turned bigger to involve the logistic platform through which – according to crime allegations reported by Mediapart information website together with European Investigative Collaborations press network – the group supposedly evaded 2.5 billion euros from 2002 to 2017. Kering immediately pointed out “they implemented a corporate governance that aims to guarantee full compliance with national tax regulations where the group is working”.  Furthermore, their Swiss company “is a strategic hub actively playing in a few sectors, such as distribution and centralised logistics of property brands: they founded it in the Nineties and currently hire over 600 employees there. Each company, which is operating in Switzerland, carries out an actual business activity: because of that, Kering pay taxes in Switzerland, in compliance with local laws and incorporation deed. French tax authorities, as well as the others in charge, are fully aware of our operating system”. Shortly after, in March 2018, following the dismissal of investigations argued by Milan’s attorney, the French luxury giant restated, once again, that their own managers “were fully abiding by regulations imposed by Italy’s tax authorities”, therefore contesting “the plausibility of financial figures published in the press media”. Finally, they said they were ready to cooperate with Italy’s tax authorities “with full transparency”.



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