UK officials question companies on taxes

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LONDON — British law-makers on Monday accused major multinational companies of aggressive tax avoidance, amid calls by the U.K. government for a global crackdown on firms that seek to evade taxes.

At a three-hour parliamentary committee hearing, legislators questioned Starbucks, Google and Amazon about the amount they pay to the U.K. government in taxation.

Companies operating in Europe can base themselves in any of the 27 European Union nations, allowing them to take advantage of a particular country’s low tax rates.

Last week, Britain and Germany called for the world’s largest economies to do more to collectively fight tax evasion, especially in online commerce.