A McDonald's spokesperson has confirmed that its operations in France have been investigated by authorities there for possible tax evasion, according to a recent report on Stuff, a New Zealand-based news source.
France's leading newsweekly, L'Express, also stated in a recent article that the French Budget Ministry is looking into the possibiity that the iconic multinational corporation owes the government some $2.2 billion, a bill accrewed over a five-year period, beginning in 2009. Also according to the report, the ministry believes that the company may have hid profits in its subsidiaries based in Luxembourg and Switzerland. While the French Budget Minister Bernard Caseneuve declined to address the matter directly, he did affirm France's strong commitment to rooting out tax evasion on a French public radio program.
For its part, McDonald's is vigorously denying any wrongdoing, and acknowledged the government's search of their offices outside of Paris as a "regular control procedure."
France has attracted a good deal of negative attention in the past year for its onerous taxes, especially the passage of a law that levies 75% taxes on high earners.