This article is in French but roughly translated it asks, how could Glaxo pay something like 3% in taxes on 2.3 billion euros in profit in Belgium? And the answer is Belgian tax policy that allows earnings stripping to the tune of a 320 million euro tax break for the global pharma conglomerate. TJN explains:
The main story is about how the GSK Group used Belgium as a tax haven to avoid tax on over a billion Euros in royalties linked to GSK's worldwide sales of the swine flu vaccine Pandemrix in 2009-2011. In a nutshell, these royalties were taxed at less than 3%, thanks to two Belgian fiscal measures: first, a 80% deduction on royalties earned by the company, and second, the so-called "notional interests", a Belgian tax specialty.
More generally, these two "fiscal gifts" helped GSK (through its Belgian subsidiary GSK Biologicals) to deduct €2.6 billion from its profits before tax between 2008 and 2011, and thus legally avoid 892 million euro of taxes in Belgium on worldwide sales of vaccines (H1N1 + others)