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EU To Soon Complete Tax Ruling Probes

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

05 June 2015

The European Commission will soon conclude its investigations into tax rulings provided by member states to certain multinationals, Margethe Vestager has confirmed.

In her foreword to the Commission's Annual Competition Report 2014, the Competition Commissioner wrote: "I will be seeking to conclude shortly the investigations we have already launched concerning specific tax rulings in Ireland (Apple), Luxembourg (Amazon and FIAT), and the Netherlands (Starbucks), Belgium's excess profit ruling system, and tax rulings practices in Gibraltar."

Vestager has also asked all EU member states to provide the Commission with information on how they use tax rulings. "On this basis, the Commission will assess the situation in every one of them to ensure that no individual companies get a selective advantage from paying unfair levels of tax," the foreword explains.

The report notes that tax rulings may involve state aid if they are used to provide selective advantage to specific groups or companies. It states: "If the remuneration received by an entity is not based on remuneration on market terms under normal conditions of competition, this could lead to a lower taxable profit for the group as a whole. Other companies which would buy and sell goods or services from the market rather than within the group would be disadvantaged."

TAGS: compliance | tax | European Commission | tax compliance | Belgium | Gibraltar | Ireland | Netherlands | revenue guidance | Luxembourg | tax authority | tax planning | transfer pricing | European Union (EU) | services | Europe

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