COPENHAGEN, Sept 6 – According to Reuters In a landmark decision, Denmark’s supreme court handed down a verdict today against Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) and TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA) in a high-stakes tax case involving allegations of transfer pricing manipulation within their business operations in Algeria and Qatar.
The case, brought forth by Danish tax authorities, centers on claims that Maersk’s oil unit, subsequently sold to TotalEnergies in 2017, engaged in tax evasion in Denmark spanning the years 2006 to 2008.
According to the tax authority’s allegations, Maersk exploited transfer pricing, a practice involving the setting of prices for goods and services exchanged between subsidiaries, to manipulate its taxable income within Denmark.
In a decisive ruling, the Danish supreme court determined that both Maersk and TotalEnergies are liable for additional taxes amounting to 1.3 billion Danish crowns ($187.28 million) for the period spanning 2006 to 2008.
While this verdict caught the industry by surprise, Maersk remains resolute in its response. In an emailed statement, the company remarked, “Although we are surprised by the verdict, it has no financial consequences.”
In a strategic move to preempt any interest-related financial obligations, Maersk had already accounted for these additional tax payments before the sale of its Danish oil and gas unit to TotalEnergies.
This ruling sends a clear message regarding the robustness of Denmark’s stance against tax evasion and transfer pricing abuses within its borders. It also serves as a precedent with potential implications for similar cases globally, emphasizing the increasing scrutiny on multinational corporations in matters of taxation and financial transparency.