Countries: European Union

European Commission vs. Belgium, September 2021, The European Court of Justice, Case No. C‑337/19 P

Since 2005, Belgium has applied a system of exemptions for the excess profit of Belgian entities which form part of multinational corporate groups. Those entities were able to obtain a tax ruling from the Belgian tax authorities, if they could demonstrate the existence of a new situation, such as a reorganisation leading to the relocation of the central entrepreneur to Belgium, the creation of jobs, or investments. In that context, profits regarded as being ‘excess’, […]

The European Commission vs. Nike and the Netherlands, July 2021, European Court of Justice Case No T-648/19

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In 2016 the European Commission announced that it had opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether tax rulings (unilateral APA’s) granted by the Netherlands had given Nike an unfair advantage over its competitors, in breach of EU State aid rules. The formal investigation concerned the tax treatment in the Netherlands of two Nike group companies, Nike European Operations Netherlands BV and Converse Netherlands BV. These two operating companies develops, markets and records the sales of […]

European Commission vs Luxembourg and Engie, May 2021, EU General Court, Case No T-516/18 and T-525/18

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Engie (former GDF Suez) is a French electric utility company. Engie Treasury Management S.à.r.l., a treasury company, and Engie LNG Supply, S.A, a liquefied natural gas trading company, are both part of the Engie group. In November 2017, Total has signed an agreement with Engie to acquire its LNG business, including Engie LNG Supply. In 2018 the European Commission has found that Luxembourg allowed two Engie group companies to avoid paying taxes on almost all […]

European Commission vs. Amazon and Luxembourg, May 2021, State Aid – European General Court, Case No T-816/17 and T-318/18

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In 2017 the European Commission concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around €250 million.  Following an in-depth investigation the Commission concluded that a tax ruling issued by Luxembourg in 2003, and prolonged in 2011, lowered the tax paid by Amazon in Luxembourg without any valid justification. The tax ruling enabled Amazon to shift the vast majority of its profits from an Amazon group company that is subject to tax in Luxembourg […]

Diageo – British multinational beverage and alcohol group – is facing various tax challenges

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Diageo (British multinational beverage and alcohol group – owner of numerus brands including Jonny Walker, Captain Morgan, Gordons Gin, Smirnoff and Guinness) is facing difficult tax challenges according to the group’s August 2020 SEC-filings. During 2017 Diageo was in discussions with UK tax authorities to seek clarity on Diageo’s transfer pricing and related issues, and in the first half of the year ending 30 June 2018 a preliminary assessment for diverted profits tax notice was issued. […]

Advocate General’s Opinion in Belgian Excess Profit Exemption Scheme case before the EU Court of Justice

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In the Advocate General Opinion delivered 3 December 2020, in the EU Commissions “Aid scheme” case against Belgium and Magnetrol International, it is proposed that the Court of Justice set aside the 2019 judgment of the General Court, on the ground that the Commission has, contrary to the findings of the General Court, sufficiently demonstrated in its decision that the Belgian practice of making downward adjustments to profits of undertakings forming part of multinational groups […]

Allegations of tax avoidance in Dutch Pharma Group Qiagen

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According to investigations by SOMO – an independent center for Research on Multinational Corporations – the annual accounts of Pharma Group Qiagen shows that the group has avoided tax on profits by passing internal loans through an elaborate network of letterbox companies in European tax havens including Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta. It is estimated that, since 2010, the group has avoided at least  €93 million in taxes and has accumulated tax deduction in an amount […]

European Commission vs. Ireland and Apple, September 2020, Appeal of the Judgement of the General Court on the Apple tax State aid case in Ireland

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The European Commission has decided to appeal the decision of the EU General Court in the State Aid case of Apple and Ireland. According to the European Commission Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to €13 billion, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. In a decision issued july 2020 the General Court held in favor of Apple and Ireland. This decision will now be reviewed by […]

European Commission vs. Ireland and Apple, July 2020, General Court of the European Union, Case No. T-778/16 and T-892/16

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In a decision of 30 August 2016 the European Commission concluded that Ireland’s tax benefits to Apple were illegal under EU State aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other businesses. The decision of the Commission concerned two tax rulings issued by Ireland to Apple, which determined the taxable profit of two Irish Apple subsidiaries, Apple Sales International and Apple Operations Europe, between 1991 and 2015. As a result of […]

European Commission vs. Luxembourg and Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe, September 2019, General Court of the European Union, Case No. T-755/15

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On 3 September 2012, the Luxembourg tax authorities issued a tax ruling in favour of Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe (‘FFT’), an undertaking in the Fiat group that provided treasury and financing services to the group companies established in Europe. The tax ruling at issue endorsed a method for determining FFT’s remuneration for these services, which enabled FFT to determine its taxable profit on a yearly basis for corporate income tax in the Grand Duchy of […]

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