In October 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed the corporate family tree for Nestlé S.A on the corporate database D&B Hoovers. The company had numerous subsidiaries based in jurisdictions which Ethical Consumer considered to be tax havens at the time of writing. Subsidiaries included several company types which were at high risk of being used for tax avoidance purposes. High risk company types included holding companies based in Switzerland, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, Bermuda and the Bahamas.
DPA Manufacturing Holdings Ltd (Bermuda)
Centram Holdings Ltd (Bermuda)
Hsu Fu International Limited (Cayman Islands)
Nestlé's Holdings Ltd (Bahamas)
COMPAGNIE FINANCIERE DU HAUT-RHIN S.A. (Luxembourg)
As Nestlé was a Swiss company the high-risk companies registered in Switzerland were not taken into consideration.
A statement was found on the Nestle website that, "In compliance with the OECD ‘BEPS’ Actions, Nestlé prepares the Country-by-Country report (CbCR) for its entire group and provides it to the Swiss Tax authorities. Swiss Tax authorities share the Nestlé CbCR with countries that have signed agreements allowing for that exchange.
The Nestlé CbCR is therefore available to all the countries where tax authorities have agreed to the standards developed by the OECD."
"We do not use hybrid instruments and entities that result in tax avoidance, double deduction or double no taxation."
However, no public country-by-country reporting was found, nor clear public tax statement confirming that it was this company’s policy not to engage in any tax avoidance activity or to use tax havens for tax avoidance purposes, nor did the company provide a narrative explanation for what each group entity located in a tax haven is for, and how it is not being used for purposes of tax minimisation.
Nestlé therefore received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for likely tax avoidance and lost a whole mark under Tax Conduct.