back to article Report: Danish government hits Microsoft with $1bn tax bill

The Danish government is reportedly chasing down Microsoft for nearly a billion dollars in missing tax revenue, stemming from its purchase of Viking accountancy software firm Navision. According to local media outlet DK, the Danish authorities have begun what could be the largest tax case in the country's history, involving …


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  1. Ole Juul



    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Taxes?

      Which big business hasn't had a hand in tax avoidance.

      Rolls Royce paid no corporation tax in the UK last year despite profits of 1.4 billion pounds.

      There's nothing illegal with this or Microsoft, it's just they can afford employ loop hole finders whereas the little people have to put up with it.

      1. Pellinor

        Re: Taxes?

        No UK tax? They have a total tax charge of £410m, which makes their effective tax rate near 30%, against a UK headline rate of 24.5%.

        Yup, that looks like avoidance to me.

        1. Pellinor

          Re: Taxes?

          Oh, sorry, I forgot: you're ignoring anything that isn't in the UK, because the rest of the world doesn't exist and wouldn't have any right to impose taxes if it did; and anything that isn't paid in cash, because all billion-pound firms run purely on cash.

  2. Steven Roper

    Ballmer might want to read his history

    This one time, there were these monks at Lindisfarne...

  3. Magani

    A note to plunderers of all ages:

    Always remember to pillage BEFORE you burn.

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    As a Swedish colleague said

    Vikings raped and pillaged across europe

    Except Scotland - that was pillage only

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: As a Swedish colleague said

      When you see the Scottish women you understand immediately why it was only pillage.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: As a Swedish colleague said

        To be fair - we were working in Aberdeen.

      2. Ole Juul

        Re: As a Swedish colleague said

        When you see the Scottish women you understand immediately why it was only pillage.

        There's lots of beautiful women in Scotland. Perhaps you a getting confused by the kilts.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The local media outlet is called DR...

    ...and it stands for Denmark's Radio. It is publicly owned, and is very similar to BBC in the UK.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: The local media outlet is called DR...

      DR is nothing like the BBC - DR makes drama you actually want to watch.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: The local media outlet is called DR...

        On the radio? I only watch the radio when I'm drunk.

        1. Ole Juul

          Re: The local media outlet is called DR...

          I only watch the radio when I'm drunk.

          You must live in a nice neighbourhood. Some places you have to watch everything.

  6. John Hawkins


    Ha! Vikings in Scandinavia? The Vikings all beggared off southwards a thousand years ago - those left in Scandinavia are descended from the peasants, thralls and others who couldn't make the move. Even the British Isles had better weather back then, before the climate packed up.

    Interesting story though; I can actually see the Danish coast from my office window and the story has been floating around the local papers for a few days now.

    1. Jess

      Re: Vikings?

      Scandinavians hate it when you point that out to them.

    2. Arctic fox

      Re: Vikings? Weeell, actually the pattern of "exodus" is a little more complex.

      For example those who had murdered or stole cattle etc were, if caught, often declared "nithing" meaning they were outside the protection of the law and in order to escape enraged relatives and/or cattle fondlers they often fled (during the late tenth century and the early eleventh) to the western coast of France. The grandson of one of these thieves/murderers was known to his contemporaries as William the Bastard (a little matter of, ahem, lack of a wedding between his mum and dad although given what he did next the alternative interpretation holds as well).

      He landed one day with his cohort of third/fourth generation thieves, murderers and cattle-rustlers on the southern coast of England in 1066 and the rest, as we say, is history. The Vikings never successfully conquered* either Scotland or England (indeed Harold Godwinson trounced a Danish/Norwegian army at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in the same year only to march south to his fuck-up at Hastings), it was in fact the descendants of a bunch who even the Vikings could not stand who managed that trick.

      *They actually settled as farmers and traders in many areas where they had control but they did not ever succeed in national conquest.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Vikings?

      "those left in Scandinavia are descended from the peasants". I suppose that explains a lot about Blighty to day too.

  7. Mips

    Racist remarks!

    Oi! You lay off the Danes.

    1. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      Re: "Racist remarks!" I think that any normal person would have realised that you.............

      ..................were being satirical but it seems that some saddo has downvoted you. Upvote delivered to even things up.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Great Danes

    Sic em Rex!

  9. Winkypop Silver badge

    Remember the golden rule

    Those with the gold make the rules.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Now, I'm a bit of a leftie, but $1BN in tax (and interest) on a $1.2BN deal, that seems beyond high tax and into the realms of "how do you expect anyone to do any business with your country" levels of tax.

    Do they have tax breaks for lego, bacon and fairy stories?

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Re: Err...

      Your kind of missing the point. The deal to buy the company was worth $1.2b, but the company has continued to make a profit since then, and it is this which they are being charged the $1b in tax on. It says in the article that microsoft diverted about $11b in revenue out of the country using this tax avoidance/evasion method (if the danish government wins its evasion, if they lose it was only avoidance!). So $1b in tax on $11b in revenue still seems very low to me!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Err...

        yes and no: $1b tax against $11b in profits would be fair enough, but $1b against $11b in revenue, when costs might be $9b, that's not right. You can't judge things like this on revenue - unless, of course, you are happy to say government performance is measured on revenue only? Only way that could be true is if Parliaments, HMRC, the entire civil service and their equivalents cost zero to run? That's nonsense.

  11. Poul Malmkjaer-Mason

    We still have the long boats

    Parked at strategic places around the country, and we still sail them - normally over to Ireland for a Guinness :-)

  12. TeeCee Gold badge

    "In the old days they would have come with a longboat"

    Er, that's a longship....

  13. jonfr

    Correct short title is DR

    The correct short term for Danmark Radio is DR. Not DK. That is a different media outlet here in Denmark.

    As for Microsoft. They have been spotted and Danish Tax is going in for a grab of Microsoft money. Microsoft can employ any amount of lawyers they want. They are still going to loose in most case. Since Denmark tax code is efficient tax code from what I understand.

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