Large-Scale Tax Avoidance By Coronavirus Test Manufacturer Qiagen

Large-Scale Tax Avoidance By Coronavirus Test Manufacturer Qiagen
shazzadul_alam / Pixabay

New research reveals large-scale tax avoidance by coronavirus test manufacturer Qiagen

Get Our Activist Investing Case Study!

Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below!

Q2 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Qiagen Has Been Dodging Millions Of Euros In Tax

Amsterdam, 29 September 2020 – New research by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) shows that the German coronavirus test producer Qiagen has been able to dodge millions of euros in tax since 2010 thanks to tax avoidance constructions in Ireland, Luxembourg, the US and Malta. Qiagen is one of the world’s leading producers of coronavirus test kits and is currently benefiting from mass orders from governments around the world. It is one of the major suppliers of COVID-19 test kits in the US. New SOMO research reveals that the biotech giant also received huge amounts of public funding from the US and the Netherlands, among others.

Carlson’s Double Black Diamond Ends 2021 On A High

Black DiamondIn December, a strong performance helped Carlson Capital's Double Black Diamond fund achieve a double-digit return in 2021. Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Double-Digit Return According to a copy of the latest investor update, which ValueWalk has been able to review, Clint Carlson's Double Black Diamond fund returned 2.9% in December and Read More

Jasper van Teeffelen, tax researcher at SOMO, said: “The global healthcare sector is under enormous financial pressure due to the coronavirus crisis. It is distressing to see that precisely a company like Qiagen is avoiding tax on a large scale and depriving governments of much-needed income.

Qiagen is officially a Dutch company. Although its operational headquarters are in Germany, its headquarters are in Venlo (the Netherlands). Qiagen has 5,200 employees worldwide and generated revenues of €1.3 billion in 2019. In the second quarter of 2020, the company posted a profit of €77 billion – double the amount made in the same period in 2019.

Tax avoidance by Qiagen

Research by SOMO into the annual accounts of the company shows how Qiagen has avoided tax on these profits. The company has set up a network of letterbox companies in European tax havens including Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta in order to avoid tax through internal loans. SOMO estimates that, since 2010, the company has avoided €93 million in tax and has accumulated a tax deduction of €49 million. This is a conservative estimate because not all potential avoidance structures have been investigated. One of the two tax avoidance structures used involves tax avoidance on interest income from Qiagen intercompany loans to the US.

Vincent Kiezebrink, tax researcher at SOMO, said: “It is shocking to see how hard this biotech giant is trying to avoid tax. We call on Qiagen and the EU to put an end to such tax avoidance schemes.

The company declined to respond to SOMO’s findings on tax avoidance.

Public benefits not public burdens

To add insult to injury, the new research also shows that Qiagen has received public funds from the Dutch and American government, among others. The US Department of Health recently provided €511,000 in funding to Qiagen to accelerate development of a new COVID-19 test. These are the very test kits that are currently being procured on a massive scale – with public money – by the Netherlands, the US and other countries around the globe to help stave of the global pandemic.

Governments must intervene

This study shows once again how multinational corporations such as Qiagen can use tax havens in Europe, such as Luxembourg and Ireland, to avoid tax through internal loans. SOMO therefore calls on the European Union and the Netherlands to introduce better rules to prevent tax avoidance, and to impose stricter conditions on public funding. Wemos - a Dutch non-profit organisation on global health which published a study on public funding of medicines in 2019, together with SOMO - underlines the report's recommendations.

Ella Weggen, global health advocate for Wemos, said: “Transparency about public investments is desperately needed. Conditions must be attached to this public funding in terms of affordability and accessibility, so that people actually benefit from medicines and medical devices developed with their taxpayers’ money.”

Updated on

Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver
Previous article September US Jobs Report Receives ‘B’ Letter Grade
Next article Regional Development of Solid-State Batteries

No posts to display