July 12, 2017 / 9:25 PM / 13 days ago

Reckitt Benckiser denies avoiding taxes in developing world

2 Min Read

LONDON, July 12 (Reuters) - British consumer goods giant Reckitt Benckiser Group said its tax structure and practices were in line with other global businesses, denying allegations of tax avoidance in developing countries which it said had been levelled against it by the charity group Oxfam.

The Oxfam report is due to be published on Thursday.

The maker of Durex condoms and Lysol cleaners said in a statement that its tax policy is "totally legal and the norm for the majority of global businesses", adding its 2016 effective tax rate of 23 percent compared favourably with peers.

Reckitt said it "strongly refuted" that its 2012 move to locate regional headquarters in the Netherlands, Dubai and Singapore was driven principally by tax avoidance. It said the decision was motivated by a desire to ensure its business was organised to be close to its customers and consumers.

"We similarly strongly refute any link between our tax structure and the assertion that we seek to avoid taxes in developing countries that could otherwise have been invested in public health and education," Reckitt said in advance of the Oxfam report.

"None of our business operations are in any way linked to tax avoidance in developing countries," it added.

The company said it supports efforts to increase trust and understanding of tax systems around the world and supports OECD guidelines on tax and transparency and will fully comply. (Reporting by Martinne Geller; editing by Alexander Smith and G Crosse)

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