Category: Luxembourg

The Fiat and Starbucks state aid tax cases: an absolute loss for legal certainty.

In late September, the EU General Court released its decisions in two long-awaited state aid appeals: Fiat (cases T-755/15 Luxembourg v Commission and T-759/15 Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe v Commission) and Starbucks (cases T-760/15 Netherlands v. Commission and T-636/16 Starbucks and Starbucks Manufacturing Emea v. Commission). ... - Continue reading

Tax avoidance drives nearly 40% of global FDI: IMF

Nearly 40% of worldwide foreign direct investment (FDI), amounting to $15trn, “passes through empty corporate shells” with “no real business activities”, a study by the IMF and the University of Copenhagen reveals. According to the report, ten economies including Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, BVI, Switzerland, Singapore, Ireland, the Cayman… – Continue reading

European Union: The Increasing Link Drawn By Regulators Between State Aid & Taxation Systems

In 2018, the European Commission (EC) concluded two more investigations into whether the tax ruling practices of Member States breached European Union (EU) State aid rules: the first, a finding of unlawful State aid resulting from tax rulings by Luxembourg in favor of Engie; the second, a rare finding of no aid in respect of the treatment by Luxembourg of McDonald's under the Luxembourg-U.S. double taxation treaty. These decisions are discussed below. ... - Continue reading

Luxembourg: Luxembourg Starts The Implementation Of ATAD 2

On 8 August, the draft law (the "draft law") implementing the EU Directive 2017/952 of 29 May 2017 ("ATAD 2") amending Directive (EU) 2016/1164 laying down rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the functioning of the internal market (the so-called Anti-Tax-Avoidance-Directive, "ATAD") was presented to Parliament. ... - Continue reading

US appeals court sides with Amazon in $1.5 billion transfer pricing dispute

A US federal appeals court on Friday affirmed the Tax Court’s decision in Amazon, ruling that cost sharing buy-in payments made by Amazon’s Luxembourg subsidiary in exchange for Amazon’s transfer of intangible property should not include compensation for transferred residual business assets such as workforce in place, goodwill, and going concern value. ... - Continue reading

Luxembourg: Luxembourg Government Submits Bill To Parliament Implementing The EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive 2 Into Domestic Law

Luxembourg corporate income taxpayers, including Luxembourg permanent establishments of foreign entities, will be subject to the Draft Law as from 1 January 2020. In addition, provisions targeting reverse hybrid mismatches will be applicable to Luxembourg transparent partnerships that would be treated as opaque by their nonresident owners as from 1 January 2022. ... - Continue reading

MLI amendments to Singapore-Luxembourg tax treaty enter into effect

The government of Singapore has announced that amendments made to the Singapore-Luxembourg tax treaty as a result of the two countries’ ratification of the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI) entered into effect on August 1. ... - Continue reading

UK: Non-Resident Capital Gains Tax on United Kingdom Real Estate: A New Regime

The legislation encompassing the new regime for taxing non-residents' gains on the United Kingdom (UK) commercial real estate came into effect on 6th April 2019. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has additionally published draft guidance on this recently introduced regime. This article briefly summarizes the new rules. ... - Continue reading

Luxembourg: Tax Dispute Resolution Mechanism

The Bill of Law 7431 (“Bill”) introduced by the Luxembourg government on 11 April 2019 implements the European Union (“EU”) Directive 2017/1852 dated 17 October 2017 on tax dispute resolution mechanisms in the EU (the “Directive”). The Directive meets the BEPS Action Plan 14 minimum standards and is a subsidiary… – Continue reading

Corporate Canada’s Pile of Cash in Offshore Tax Havens Has Hit $353 Billion For the First Time in History

Luxembourg, Barbados and Bermuda are three of Canada’s top five destinations in the world for corporate cash After exploding to record levels under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government, the amount of money Corporate Canada is funneling through offshore tax havens has hit a new all-time high. According to data newly released… – Continue reading

Africa’s problem with tax avoidance

Every year African countries lose at least $50 million in taxes — more than the amount of foreign development aid. So where is it all going and how can multinational companies be held to account? NGOs continue to raise the alarm. African countries are being cheated out of billions in… – Continue reading

EU passes legislation protecting whistleblowers to encourage wrongdoing

Whistleblowers across the European Union have won greater protection under landmark legislation aimed at encouraging reports of wrongdoing. The new law, approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday, shields whistleblowers from retaliation. It also creates “safe channels” to allow them to report breaches of EU law. It is the first… – Continue reading

EU Report Calls For Finance Authorities, AML Oversight

European Union lawmakers released a report on Wednesday (Feb. 27) recommending that the EU create a police unit dedicated to the investigation of tax and financial crimes, as well as a watchdog organization to fight money-laundering, according to a report by Reuters. The report, which is the result of a… – Continue reading

EU Report Calls For Finance Authorities, AML Oversight

European Union lawmakers released a report on Wednesday (Feb. 27) recommending that the EU create a police unit dedicated to the investigation of tax and financial crimes, as well as a watchdog organization to fight money-laundering, according to a report by Reuters. The report, which is the result of a… – Continue reading

VISA-FREE DESTINATIONS ON LUXEMBOURG PASSPORT, 2019

Luxembourg and Spain passports placed 5th in a global study of visa-free travel. The annual “Henley Passport Index”, published on 8 January 2019, is a “ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa.” The index is published by… – Continue reading

Cryptocurrencies Could Emerge As Top Save Haven For Chinese Investors Amidst Govt Crackdown

The Chinese government has decided to tight policies that target investors in the country and that hold their wealth overseas with the intention to avoid paying taxes. However, these investors that are now threatened by the government might move to cryptocurrencies and avoid being investigated by Chinese authorities. Most of… – Continue reading

McDonald’s Luxembourg tax deal not illegal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – McDonald’s tax deal with Luxembourg did not breach EU state aid rules, EU antitrust regulators ruled on Wednesday, saying the reason the US fast food chain did not pay some taxes was due to the mismatch between US and Luxembourg laws. The decision by the European Commission… – Continue reading

UK withholding tax on interest paid to non-residents

The UK does still have one significant disadvantage namely the 20% withholding tax imposed by UK domestic law on “yearly interest” that arises in the UK is paid to persons whose “usual place of abode” is outside the UK. The UK is normally regarded as an attractive location for the… – Continue reading

Unions Say McDonald’s Restructuring Allows Less Transparency On Taxes

BRUSSELS (Alliance News) – US fast food giant McDonald’s has reshuffled its corporate structure to make tax-avoidance practices less transparent after the EU had opened an investigation into the company’s tax schemes in 2015, a group of trade unions said Monday. The report by a coalition of European and US… – Continue reading

LUX-FRANCE DTT: CLARIFY BEFORE YOU RATIFY

Alfi speaks out on the double taxation treaty signed between Luxembourg and France on 20 March 2018. Although it appreciates that it is the product of bilateral negotiation, it calls for more clarity before it is ratified. The Association of the Luxembourg Funds Industry (Alfi) has added its voice to… – Continue reading

Luxembourg Vulnerable To International Tax Developments, Says IMF

International tax developments could have a negative impact on Luxembourg’s tax revenues and economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said in its latest Luxembourg country report. The report, published on April 3, warns Luxembourg that a number of external tax events are likely to have “important implications” for Luxembourg,… – Continue reading

TAX TALK: LUX-FRANCE TREATY CREATES UNCERTAINTY

On the occasion of the signing of the new double taxation treaty (DTT) between Luxembourg and France on 20 March 2018, the grand duchy’s finance minister, Pierre Gramegna, commented in a government press release that the new DTT is, “…an innovative instrument that will benefit both citizens and business in… – Continue reading

Luxembourg Says EU’s Digital Tax Must Be Lawful

Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna has said that any special tax measures against large digital companies should respect European Union law. Gramegna made the comments during an official visit to Paris earlier this month where he held a series of working meetings with French government counterparts. “Pierre Gramegna stressed that… – Continue reading

LUX RULES “MAY FACILITATE AGGRESSIVE TAX PLANNING”

The European Commission has criticised Luxembourg and six other EU member states for overly favourable tax treatment of multinational corporations. “The @EU_Commission is today stressing the issue of aggressive tax planning in seven EU countries: #Belgium, #Cyprus, #Hungary, #Ireland, #Luxembourg, #Malta and The #Netherlands. #FairTaxation,” Pierre Moscovici, the European finance… – Continue reading

EUROPE INVESTIGATES IKEA TAX EVASION VIA NETHERLANDS

The European Commission is launching an investigation into Ikea’s tax construction in the Netherlands. European Commissioner on competition Margrethe Vestager is expected to officially announce the investigation on Tuesday, British newspaper the Financial Times reports. The Swedish furniture company is suspected of evading nearly a billion euros in taxes between… – Continue reading

Luxembourg challenges EU order to recover tax from Amazon

Luxembourg is challenging a European Union order to recover about €250m in back taxes from Amazon, saying it disagreed with EU state aid regulators’ decision that the US online retailer had received special treatment. The appeal to the Luxembourg-based General Court, Europe’s second-highest, comes two months after the European Commission… – Continue reading

EU finance ministers discuss plans for new taxation of digital firms

European Union plans for a new taxation system for digital companies, such as Skype and Amazon, both of which have European headquarters in Luxembourg, were discussed on Tuesday by EU finance ministers. A report from the European Commission in September said the effective average tax rate for a traditional international… – Continue reading

E.U., Citing Amazon and Apple, Tells Nations to Collect Tax

BRUSSELS — European competition regulators on Wednesday mounted a push against tax avoidance by Silicon Valley giants, announcing plans to take Ireland to court for failing to collect back taxes from Apple and ordering Luxembourg to claim unpaid taxes from Amazon. The effort, which comes as the European Union considers… – Continue reading

EU divided over radical tax reforms targeting tech giants

The EU is deeply divided over how to increase the tax take from tech giants such as Google, Apple and Amazon, who have recently come under fire for being perceived as not paying their fair share of taxes A controversial set of reforms spearheaded by French president Emmanuel Macron propose… – Continue reading

New Dutch Law Leaves Repentant Taxpayers Out in the Cold

The abolition of a scheme allowing Dutch taxpayers to fess up to their tax sins and avoid criminal charges is likely to discourage high-net worth individuals from ever disclosing money hidden abroad to local authorities, practitioners say. Deputy Minister of Finance Eric Wiebes announced that it was time to draw… – Continue reading

EU eyes corporate rules shake-up with law on seat transfer

The European Commission is preparing a new directive on the cross-border transfer of company headquarters, a move that could have far-reaching implications for other areas of corporate governance, including tax planning and cross-border mergers, EURACTIV has learned. With Brexit on the horizon, UK companies are busy weighing their options for… – Continue reading

Half of Belgium’s economic output ends up in tax havens

Companies operating in Belgium sent more than €221 billion to countries local authorities regard as tax havens, according to Belgian daily Le Soir. Belgium’s gross domestic product was €466 billion last year. According to the country’s tax authorities, 853 Belgian companies funneled almost a half of the country’s economic output… – Continue reading

Amazon won’t reveal total UK tax bill after sales of £7bn and a £1.3m rebate

Amazon has refused to reveal how much it paid in total UK tax last year after it emerged it actually got a rebate of £1.3million. The online giant, which three years ago pledged to stop using a controversial tax avoidance scheme, admitted it had paid just £7million in corporation tax… – Continue reading