University Post
University of Copenhagen
Independent of management


Companies’ tax details laid bare on internet today

Danish companies angered by disclosure of their corporate taxes, or lack of them

From 9am this morning the general public has been able to see exactly what major companies such as Carlsberg, A.P: Møller-Maersk, and Danske Bank pay in corporate tax when the government launches its ‘open tax lists’ on the internet, reports and

The Tax Ministry claims the increased transparency will encourage companies to pay more tax, but critics claim it will lead to suspicion, misinformation, and confusion.

Professor Rasmus K. Feldthusen of the University of Copenhagen says that corporation tax is only a minor part of companies’ collective contribution to society. It doesn’t take into account investment, jobs created, and the beneficial effects for suppliers. »All things that are positive for society but will appear negative on these tax lists,« he says.

Only 1 in 3 paid corporate tax

Carlsberg’s Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer Jørn P. Jensen dismissed the lists as a ‘populist project’.

»It makes no sense to isolate corporate taxes in this manner,« he said. »For us it’s only part of our collective tax and duty payments. Carlsberg paid over DKK 1.1bn in this country last year in the form of duty on beer and soft drinks, property taxes, energy duties, and environmental duty.«

According to the Tax Ministry only one in three companies in Denmark paid corporate tax last year – out of 162,000 registered companies, 110,000 paid nothing.

See the story here in Danish.

Stay in the know about news and events happening in Copenhagen by signing up for the University Post’s weekly newsletter here.