Exclusive: Dettol, Durex manufacturer RB costing New Zealand $15 million through their tax practices, claims Oxfam

RB makes familiar household brands – like Dettol, Airwick, Nurofen Vanish, Finish and Durex – sold in over 200 countries.

But UK based RB strongly denies the charity’s claims that it’s avoiding tax. Source: 1 NEWS

But with a major new report Oxfam says the UK-based company is making tax vanish – and must clean up its tax practices.

The charity says it adds up to around $15 million lost to New Zealand, as much as $355 million worldwide and $106 million from developing countries.

"There has been a significant tax loss for New Zealanders", says Oxfam NZ executive director Rachael Le Mesurier.

So how do they do it? Oxfam's investigation says by profit shifting. That's when firms make profits in one country and shift them across borders by exploiting gaps and mismatches in tax rules.
"This is not tax evasion, it's tax avoidance and it's legal within our current rules in New Zealand this is something multinationals are able to do all round the world," Ms Le Mesurier said.
The Oxfam investigation shows RB restructured its business to create regional hubs in the Netherlands, Singapore and Dubai.
"Before they restructured they were clearly making good profit ... they were doing very well in New Zealand the last three years what it looks like is their profits have dropped off a cliff," Ms Le Mesurier said.

1 NEWS couldn't reach anyone at RB's New Zealand office in Takapuna, Auckland.

But in an email to Oxfam in June, senior vice president John Dixon said: "RB pays all the taxes required in all markets in which we operate.

"We are committed to ensuring that the Group is compliant with all relevant tax laws and regulations."