The Swiss Connection

20 May 2014

This report with the Centre for Research on Multinational Companies (SOMO) looks at the role of Switzerland in Royal Dutch Shell’s corporate structure and tax planning. Between 2001 and 2005 the Dutch-British oil multinational set up a range of subsidiaries in Switzerland, although these entities are not involved in any productive activities.

The report highlights the use of low-tax and secrecy jurisdictions by Shell in order to minimise its tax payments in other jurisdictions. It concludes that Shell's presence in Switzerland potentially allows the company to avoid paying a significant amount of taxes where its actual economic activities take place, including in developing countries. The authors call on Shell to make public all its accounts and not to avoid tax.