COPENHAGEN, June 10 (Reuters) - Novo Nordisk, the world's biggest insulin producer, is facing a tax claim for 5.5 billion Danish crowns ($975 million) from the Danish authorities in a dispute over transfer pricing, local television broadcaster DR said on Monday.
According to the report, papers obtained by DR shows that Novo is accused of failing to declare a proper value on two drug patents after they were moved from Denmark to Switzerland, and therefore had paid too little in taxes in Denmark.
The tax case involves haemophilia drug NovoSeven and growth hormone Norditropin, which are produced in Denmark but their patents have been moved to Switzerland and therefore earnings are now channelled there, DR said.
While it is fully legal to move patents and product rights to Switzerland, companies are responsible for declaring a fair market value for those patents and rights, DR said.
Novo has declared too low a value on those assets since the patents were moved out of Denmark over a period between 2002 and 2007, and the group ought to have paid 5.5 billion crowns more in taxes in Denmark, the report said.
A Novo Nordisk spokesman said that the group is always involved in a variety of tax cases due to the international nature of its business, but disagreed on the 5.5 billion crown claim on the patents in question.
'We have different tax cases going on with the authorities regarding transfer pricing and in this case, the value of some patents which were moved between Denmark and Switzerland,' he said.
'The figure which the tax office, according to the papers obtained by DR believe we should pay is 5.5 billion crowns. We do not agree and therefore the case has been lodged with the tax court. It will take several years before the case is finished,' he added.
'I am sure that regardless of which figures the tax office mention, the final numbers will look quite different.'
The Danish tax office declined to comment on the case against Novo Nordisk as the information was confidential, it said.
(Reporting by Mette Fraende; Editing by Greg Mahlich) Keywords: NOVONORDISK TAX/
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