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The European Commission has announced that its ongoing inquiry into advance tax rulings will be expanded to cover all European Union member states.
The Commission said on December 17 that it will ask member states to confirm whether they offer tax rulings. If they do, they will be requested to list all companies that have received a tax ruling from 2010 to 2013 and will be asked to provide information on their tax ruling practices.
The announced follows recent calls for more transparency on tax rulings in the European Union. It has been proposed that EU states should automatically exchange information on tax rulings in cases where a ruling has an impact on the tax base of another state.
Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition, said: "We need a full picture of the tax rulings practices in the EU to identify if and where competition in the single market is being distorted through selective tax advantages. We will use the information received in today's inquiry as well as the knowledge gained from our ongoing investigations to combat tax avoidance and fight for fair tax competition."
The EC confirmed that, since June 2013, it has been investigating, under state aid rules, the tax ruling practices of seven member states. To date, the Commission has requested an overview of tax rulings provided by Cyprus, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. The EU is also reviewing Gibraltar's rulings regime separately.
The Commission has also requested information about patent box regimes offered in ten member states (Belgium, Cyprus, France, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom).
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