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Hasbro pays Mexico tax authorities $65 mln in settlement after probe

February 5, 2015

By Alexandra Alper, Simon Gardner and Christian Plumb

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – The world’s No. 2 toymaker, Hasbro Inc, has paid $65 million to Mexican tax authorities in a settlement, a spokeswoman for the company said on Wednesday, following a probe into the company for possible for tax avoidance.

The deal resolves outstanding tax assessments for all open years from 2000 to 2013, spokeswoman Julie Duffy said in an email.

Last year, Mexico said it had launched a probe of 270 companies for allegedly exploiting loopholes that have led to the loss of potential tax revenue for years.

Reuters reported in September that Hasbro, along with household product maker Procter & Gamble Co, were at the heart of the probe.

In December, Mexico’s tax collection agency SAT said it had reached a deal with a multinational company but did not reveal its name.

In its third quarter earnings report released in November, Hasbro said it was “vigorously defending” itself against Mexican tax assessments over how it accounts for cross-border transactions, known as transfer pricing issues.

The company, known for its My Little Pony toys and Transformers action figures, said it was in discussions with tax authorities to reach a settlement.

Mexico’s actions reflect frustration among some large developing countries, including China and India, with legal loopholes in international tax rules that companies can exploit to shift profits to tax havens.

Mexico, home to global automakers and light assembly plants for sectors like pharmaceuticals and aeronautics, has among the lowest tax takes in the OECD, crimping its ability to spend on programs vital to boosting economic growth and living standards.

(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Simon Gardner and Christian Plumb)


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