Oxfam has today released a report on tax dodging by RB, the company formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser and the maker of thousands of well known household products. The report looks at the 2012 restructuring of the company which saw it set up ‘hubs’ in the Netherlands, Dubai and Singapore, all well known corporate tax havens, and demonstrates the continuing power of the corporate expose as a mechanism for encouraging companies to change their ways.
Oxfam report reveals that after the restructuring the effective tax rate of RB dropped significantly, from 26.5 percent in 2011 to 21 percent in 2015 and 23 percent in 2016. In total Oxfam estimates that RB managed to reduce its total tax bill by £200m between 2014 and 2016. A particularly interesting detail is the data that Oxfam have gathered on the collapse in the profit margins of RB subsidiaries in Europe after the establishment of the ‘hub’ in Holland, which suggests the company was engaged in significant profit shifting.