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IKEA is set up as a sham charitable foundation as a tax dodge.

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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:29 PM
Original message
IKEA is set up as a sham charitable foundation as a tax dodge.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 03:33 PM by QuestionAll
here's something i stumbled across in the process of doing a little research...i for one will neevr shop with these fuckers again- not that i'd ever consider buying their cheap-ass ugly furniture, but i'd usually drop a few hundred there at christmas every year, buying frames, lights, kitchen stuff, candles, and other 'chotchskes'(?).

it seems that in 1982, Ingvar Kamprad, the founder/owner of IKEA 'donated' his ownership to the Dutch Stichting INGKA Foundation, the LARGEST 'charitable' foundation in the world, even bigger than the Gates(as in Bill & Melinda)Foundation.
and who is the chairman of the the INGKA Foundation? Ingvar Kamrad, of course...


http://sookyan.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_sookyan_archive....

IKEA
Flat-pack accounting
May 11th 2006
From The Economist print edition

Forget about the Gates Foundation. The world's biggest charity owns IKEAand is
devoted to interior design FEW tasks are more exasperating than trying to assemble flat-pack furniture from IKEA. But even that is simple compared with piecing together the accounts of the world's largest homefurnishing retailer. Much has been written about IKEA's remarkably effective retail formula. The Economist has investigated the group's no less astonishing finances.
What emerges is an outfit that ingeniously exploits the quirks of different jurisdictions to create
a charity, dedicated to a somewhat banal cause, that is not only the world's richest foundation,
but is at the moment also one of its least generous. The overall set-up of IKEA minimises tax
and disclosure, handsomely rewards the founding Kamprad family and makes IKEA immune to
a takeover. And if that seems too good to be true, it is: these arrangements are extremely
hard to undo. The benefits from all this ingenuity come at the price of a huge constraint on the
successors to Ingvar Kamprad, the store's founder (pictured above), to do with IKEA as they
see fit...


If Stichting Ingka Foundation has net worth of at least $36 billion it would be the world's
wealthiest charity. Its value easily exceeds the $26.9 billion shown in the latest published
accounts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is commonly awarded that accolade.
Measured by good works, however, the Gates Foundation wins hands down. It devotes most of
its resources to curing the diseases of the world's poor. By contrast the Kamprad billions are
dedicated to innovation in the field of architectural and interior design.
The articles of
association of Stichting Ingka Foundation, a public record in the Netherlands, state that this
object cannot be amended. Even a Dutch court can make only minor changes to the stichting's
aims.

The Kamprad foundations compare poorly with the Gates Foundation
in other ways, too. The American charity operates transparently,
publishing, for instance, details of every grant it makes. But Dutch
foundations are very loosely regulated and are subject to little or no
third-party oversight. They are not, for instance, legally obliged to
publish their accounts.

Under its articles, Stichting Ingka Foundation channels its funds to
Stichting IKEA Foundation, another Dutch-registered foundation with
identical aims, and which actually doles out money for worthy interior-design ideas. But the
second foundation does not publish any information either. So just howor whetherStichting
Ingka Foundation has spent the 1.6 billion that it collected in dividends from Ingka Holding in
1998-2003 remains hidden from view...


Pass the word- IKEA sucks ass. and NOT just because they make lousy furniture.
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. ???
So IKEA's charity arm doesn't give enough money to causes you think it should? Tough beans!

Frankly, I think encouraging efficient and innovative interior designs is one of many worthy causes.

Besides, I like their eco-friendly products and their space-saving designs -- despite the fact that there's no such thing as a perfect corporation.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. nobody knows how much or to whom it's money goes...
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 03:56 PM by QuestionAll
they don't have to account for any of it- that's the point.

it's one of the LARGEST 'charitable' foundations in the world- but it doesn't have to give any accounting of whether or not it is actually funding charitable causes.

how many charitable causes regarding 'innovative interior design' are there worldwide?
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Them and how many others?
You think they're the only ones who don't have to account adequately for their charitable donations? If they're not breaking any laws, who really cares?

So maybe because of this "revelation," the accountability laws for charitable giving will be tightened up. In the meantime, though, you're going to condemn the whole company. That just doesn't make any sense at all.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. that's why they're in the netherlands...
they don't have to report a thing.

as for here in the U.S.- i guess that you don't have any problem with all the outsourcing and offshoring of jobs that corporations are doing- after all, they aren't breaking any laws, so more power to them, right...?

and those companies that change their corporate address to a post office box in bermuda or the cayman islands in order to avoid taxes- good for them, right? after all, they aren't breaking any laws, and there's no such thing as a good corporation, and others do it too...right?
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. You're changing the subject.
On virtually all other counts, IKEA has a very progressive background and track record. My only point is that it's counterproductive and silly to condemn the whole company because you don't like one aspect of it.

Okay, so complain to them and nudge them to change that part you don't like. Fine. But ranting against everything about them because of that one aspect of the company is just foolish -- especially when there are so many other _good things_ about the company.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. so- as long as a company donates a tiny fraction of it's income to charity...
it's A-ok for it to dodge it's fair share of taxes on it's overall income...

got it!
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #8
14. Look at the overall picture.
Looking across the board of all issues to be considered, don't condemn an entire company because you don't like the way it handles one aspect of its business. That's all I'm saying.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. i am.
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 05:28 PM by QuestionAll
across the board, they are a scummy company.

apparently tho, some peoples opinions can be bought with the equivalent of a few properly-placed trinkets.
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. And I disagree with you.
"...across the board, they are a scummy company."

And the _National Resources Council_ disagrees with you... and the _U.S. Green Building Council_ disagrees with you... and _the WWF_ disagrees with you... and all the positive articles about IKEA's _good labor practices_ disagree with you... and it's one of the _100 Best Companies_ to work for... and I haven't even scratched the surface.

But that's fine. I'm sure your wholesale condemnation of them will make them change their evil ways. :)
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #15
24. You show considerable ignorance regarding the way they run the company.
See my post below.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. some strange behaviour for a charitable foundation...
whose stated purpose is to promote and support "innovation in the field of architectural and interior design"-

http://www.metropolismag.com/html/content_0203/ob/ob05_...

When the residents of New Haven, Connecticut, got word last fall that Ikea might be coming to town, many welcomed the news. No longer would they have to brave the two-hour drive to the retailer's nearest branch in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to pick up a new Ingo side table or Oppala chair. What's more, Ikea had its eye on the Pirelli Tire Company headquarters (formerly Armstrong Rubber), a 1969 building designed by Marcel Breuer that had been sitting vacant since 1997. Given the debt that so much Ikea merchandise owes to Breuer's work--particularly his midcentury furniture design--the company seemed perfectly cast as the neglected building's savior.

The marriage between retailer and landmark, though, has been rocky so far. It turns out that Ikea never had any interest in occupying the Pirelli building, seeing its interior spaces as much too cramped to accommodate a planned 300,000 square feet of retail space. Instead the company was attracted simply by the site, a 19-acre parcel at the intersection of highways I-95 and I-91.

Indeed Ikea initially hoped to demolish the entire Breuer building...

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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. C'mon, play along. Wal-Mart shows how charitable it is every single day and they are so
totally respectful of zoning laws and and their labor force too. They don't strong arm city zoning commissions and US manugfacturers to get what they want, ever...

Why, Wal-Mart's a progressive's dream come true.

And yet, and yet, their sales are doooooown... :nopity:

You big corporatist Grinch!






Probably not necessary, but just in case :sarcasm: tag...
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I despise Wal-Mart.
Their record in most areas is terrible. However, I still applaud their efforts to "green" their stores. It seems that public pressure does encourage them to do a token right thing every once in a while -- although that hardly seems to be any kind of priority for them.

In any case, you're missing my point entirely. See post #6 above.
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blondeatlast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. I'm not--that's why the sarcasm tag. I got your point, it's the OP
that I'm funning.

Sorry, sometimes my sense of humor doesn't translate too well to text.

I'm actually agreeing with you on the issue.

Sorry I wasn't clear. :hi:
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silverweb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Oh... sorry!
LOL

Thanks for clarifying! :hi:
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
9. Thanks
Never been inside an IKEA, don't even understand anybody who 'drops' a 'few hundred' anywhere at Christmas - but what companies do with their profits matters to me. It informs my shopping decisions and will steer me away from IKEA, if I ever thought of going into one.

It's funny to me that the free marketers will tell you that's how it's supposed to work, sales is supposed to push corporate policy. But whenever somebody tries to boycott sales to push corporate policy, well then we're anti-capitalist commies. :rofl:
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. as for the dropping of a few hundred there at christmas...
it's pretty easy to do- we don't have any kids, but we have large extended families on both our sides(my wife and i), and both of them over-do christmas, and we play along to some extent...i'm also the kind of person who generally does all their shopping(except for my wife) at one place, at one time. and in the past, ikea has been as good a place as any to do it.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. One store shopper?
Well okay. That's what I was referring to - as most folks shop at several stores rather than 'dropping a few hundred' at one - and being all done. If it works for you, well good for you then. Get things done in a hurry that way!
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
12. So go to rooms to go next time.
They have equally crappy furniture, paid less than 1/4% of their sales in taxes in 2004 (the last year I can find) - they treat employees like dog lick, don't stand behind their products and give absolutely nothing to charity.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Ikea's Atlanta charity
I can't speak for them anywhere else but the Atlanta Ikea store has only been here about 18 months, has given nearly a $1 million in direct charity and has hosted 12 charity functions that have raised more. I have no idea what their gross sales are so I can't speak to percentages but $1 Million is nothing to sneeze at for one store.
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. what kind of tax breaks if any, did ikea get for locating their store there...?
if a company can spend a million to save 12, it's a good deal.

unless you happen to be a tax-payer.
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Rosemary2205 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Well
the other businesses in that same development aren't being profiled for their charity works in Atlanta..................

I understand the general disgust with the games corporations play, and I appreciate the desire to out a fake charity that does very little in good works and a couple people at the top are sucking all the donations dry. But Ikea is a company where people go to buy and sell goods. The owner has chosen to set it up with a charitable aim. He is not living the high life off my charitable donations, he is not screwing over his customers or employees or the environment. The stores support their community much more generously than comparable businesses.

I really don't understand the beef with them.
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MazeRat7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 05:52 PM
Response to Original message
17. That won't be a problem....
First, I have a hard and fast rule that I will only buy from a local or a regional company and I am willing to pay extra to support those local/regional businesses. Even if I could get the same brand at a chain for less. I just won't do it.

Second, where furniture is concerned, if is not made using solid wood (no particle fillers, plastic joints, etc)... it doesn't even get considered. More over, it had better have some character and show significant attention to detail. But then thats just me.

As for IKEA, I went into one here for the first time about a month ago. I would never purchase any of that stuff, but if I was back in school when we had "roommates" in rented houses... sure I would have considered it for the price. And then left it on the curb when I moved out. :)

So thanks for the info, but like I said.. it will never be problem as they have absolutely nothing that interest me.

MZr7
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Shakespeare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. Let's see.....
Edited on Fri Dec-15-06 07:10 PM by Shakespeare
IKEA constantly works to minimize packaging and make their entire operation more green.

IKEA has extremely progressive policies regarding its employees.

IKEA is involved in charities on the local level.

But because you don't happen to approve of where the money for one or two of their charities goes, we're supposed to condemn them? Sorry, but no.

Also, anybody who thinks IKEA sells only cheap furniture has either never been inside a store, or has never looked that closely once they're inside. They have a full range of products, from the uber-budget items (which some people NEED), to much higher-end stuff (which I've bought, and which has lasted for years).

Sure, whatever. :eyes:

on edit: This was intended to be a reply to the OP, not to you, Maze.
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MazeRat7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. No prob... I've done the same thing with the replies more times than I care to count.
but you did have me going there for a min... :rofl:...

As I was reading your reply it was definitely one of the :wtf: moments...

Peace.

MZr7
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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
26. I love Ikea
Personally, I've bought Ikea furniture for years, and never had any problems. Yes, the stuff is hard to put together. But hey, it's all a challenge. And, they ARE very environmentally conscious. They make a lot of their wood from sustanably-forested trees, and support a lot of environmental charities. They also get fairly decent ratings from BuyBlue.

http://www.buyblue.org/node/1184/view/summary

So what if they don't give as much as the Gates Foundation, or their accounting isn't to US standards of transparency. I'm going to continue to support them.
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Telly Savalas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. They're privately held.
That's why their accounting isn't transparent.

Unlike Enron which had a ridiculously complicated structure to fool shareholders into thinking they weren't sitting on the deck of the Titanic, IKEA has no shareholders. They have ridiculously complicated structures involving pseudo-charities as a tax shelter.

Please excuse me if I seem a bit insensitive to the plight of the typical Dutch taxpayer, but this doesn't register too high on my outrage-meter. If I lived in the Netherlands, I'd throw my support behind people who wanted to close these loopholes, but living in North America, I'm not going to sweat it too much.

Especially, when I look at the bottom of glass of water I'm drinking out of and it says "Made in Italy", which is an indication that the workers who made the glass are getting paid a hell of a lot more than those who make similiar stuff for the other stores around here.
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