Tag: Excess profit scheme

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

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’, in that they exceeded the profit that would have been made by comparable stand-alone entities operating in similar circumstances, were exempted from corporate income tax. In 2016, the Commission found that that system of excess profit exemptions constituted a State aid scheme that was unlawful and incompatible with the internal market and ordered the recovery of the aid thus granted from 55 beneficiaries, including the company Magnetrol International. Belgium and Magnetrol International brought an action before the General Court of the European Union seeking the ... Read more
Advocate General’s Opinion in Belgian Excess Profit Exemption Scheme case before the EU Court of Justice

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

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 meets the conditions for the existence of an ‘aid scheme’. “In conclusion, the General Court incorrectly assumed that the conditions of Article 1(d) of Regulation 2015/1589 were not met in the present case. On the contrary, in the contested decision the Commission sufficiently demonstrated that the Belgian practice of making downward adjustments of the profits of undertakings forming part of a multinational group constitutes an aid scheme within the meaning of Article 1(d) of Regulation 2015/1589. The appeal is therefore well founded.” BELGIUM EXCESS PROFIT ... Read more
European Commission vs Belgium and Ireland, February 2019, General Court Case No 62016TJ0131

European Commission vs Belgium and Ireland, February 2019, General Court Case No 62016TJ0131

In 2016, the Commission requested that Belgium reclaim around €700 million from multinational corporations in what the Commission found to be illegal state aid provided under the Belgian “excess profit” tax scheme. The tax scheme allowed selected multinational corporations to exempt “excess profits” from the tax base when calculating corporate tax in Belgium. The European Court of Justice concludes that the Commission erroneously considered that the Belgian excess profit system constituted an aid scheme and orders that decision must be annulled in its entirety, in as much as it is based on the erroneous conclusion concerning the existence of such a scheme. For state aid to constitute an ‘aid scheme’, it must be awarded without requiring “further implementing measures.” According to court, “the Belgian tax authorities had a margin of discretion over all of the essential elements of the exemption system in question.” Belgium could influence the amount and the conditions under which the exemption was granted, which precludes the ... Read more
European Commission vs. Belgium and Magnetrol International, February 2019, General Court of the European Union, Case No. T 131/16 and T 263/16

European Commission vs. Belgium and Magnetrol International, February 2019, General Court of the European Union, Case No. T 131/16 and T 263/16

In January 2016 the European Commission concluded that Belgium’s excess profits tax exemption scheme was incompatible with the internal market and unlawful and ordering recovery of the aid granted . Belgium’s excess profits tax exemption In the first step, the arm’s length prices charged in transactions between the Belgian entity of a group and the companies with which it is associated were fixed based on a transfer pricing report provided by the taxpayer. Those transfer prices were determined by applying the transactional net margin method (TNMM). A residual or arm’s length profit was thus established, which corresponded to the profit actually recorded by the Belgian entity. In the second step the Belgian entity’s adjusted arm’s length profit was established by determining the profit that a comparable standalone company would have made in comparable circumstances. The difference between the profit arrived at following the first and second steps (namely the residual profit minus the adjusted arm’s length profit) constituted the amount of ... Read more