IKEA structure difficult to understand, assemble

This is more than I can take on at the moment, but intriguing nonetheless:

Ikea’s corporate structure is insanely complicated. It is technically owned by a Dutch charitable nonprofit — a strategy that allows the group to pay 3.5% tax on annual profits of €553m. However, the charity itself appears to do almost no charitable giving. Most of the money disappears into generic line-items like “other operating charges” which it refuses to explain.

Having worked in The Netherlands and Sweden, this isn’t entirely stunning to me.  Most businesses presented the opportunity to take advantage of such provisions would almost certainly do so.  If this arrangement is seen in the EU as a loophole, then the choices are to close the loophole or allow the practice.

As far as “insanely complicated”, I think what’s complicated is the company’s manner of incorporation, not necessarily its management structure.  That may be complicated too, but the fiscally advantageous complexity of the company’s regulatory exterior would likely cripple its internal operations.  Just a hunch.

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