8 rue Heinrich Heine
L-1720 Luxembourg, Company Reg No: B 101 120, VAT No: LU 20165772
The mighty European domicile for this major part of what was briefly the world’s biggest company looks like this, apparently:
The original OWNI story that points to this letterbox contains a lot of useful colour (and for non-French speakers there is a slightly hilarious translation available here.) As with most corporate giants whose key operations look like this, the diligent OWNI reporters get the brush-off:
You have to get authorisation from our hierarchy before anyone can reply to your questions, since a lot of things are confidential.
Well yes, this is, after all, Luxembourg, which was ranked a staggering number 2 in the 2009 global Financial Secrecy Index (FSI, with another updated and exciting FSI due to be published in a couple of weeks). And anyone who’s followed Europe’s efforts to push for financial transparency will know that Luxembourg is a big, nasty and vicious defender of financial secrecy, and a major fighter in defence of tax injustices.
OWNI says Itunes is a VAT dodge, with the company having informally negotiated its VAT rate down to six percent – though there may be a transfer pricing element too. I haven’t researched this, and I unfortunately don’t have time right now. It’s a Saturday today, after all, and I ought to be off out to catch the (taxpayer-funded and highly efficient) tram to the (taxpayer-funded and very nice) swimming pool.