Profiting from a pandemic
How COVID-19 test kit producer Qiagen receives public money but avoids taxes
The biotech giant Qiagen is one of the leading producers of Coronavirus testing kits and has seen its profits shoot up since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. In this research, SOMO shows how Qiagen aggressively avoids taxes at the expense of the general public. Qiagen is originally a German company and its operational headquarters are located in Germany, but it has registered its parent company in the Netherlands.
Qiagen has used intercompany loans between its subsidiaries in European tax havens Malta, Ireland and Luxembourg to avoid corporate income tax in the Netherlands. Based on an in-depth investigation of two tax avoidance structures used by Qiagen, SOMO estimates the company has accumulated illegitimate tax credits and avoided Dutch corporate income tax to the tune of €142 million.
This report also shows how Qiagen has benefited from public funding over the past 20 years. It has received millions in government funding from the US and the European Union (EU). Furthermore, the Government of the Netherlands and European Investment Fund partly funded the development of Qiagen’s COVID-19 testing system by providing venture capital to the company bought by Qiagen in 2018 that developed the diagnostics platform used in Qiagen’s test kit.
Download: Profiting from a pandemic (pdf, 272.22 KB)
Download: German summary (pdf, 148.60 KB)