Category: European Commission

EU court backs use of arm’s length principle to assess Starbucks, Fiat APAs for state aid violation

The EU General Court today released long-awaited rulings in the Fiat and Starbucks tax state aid cases, concluding in both decisions that it is appropriate for the European Commission to assess whether an advance pricing agreement (APA) confers a selective advantage to a taxpayer for state aid purposes by referring to the arm’s length principle. ... - Continue reading

EU Commission to investigate 39 Belgium “excess profit” tax rulings for potential State aid violations

The European Commission today announced that it has opened 39 in-depth investigations to assess whether Belgian “excess profit” tax rulings granted to multinationals between 2005 and 2014 provided benefits that are contrary to EU State aid rules. ... - 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 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

The latest APA and MAP figures in Europe: what are the implications for multinational group taxpayers?

Statistics published earlier this week by the European Commission on member state advance pricing agreement (APA) and mutual agreement procedure (MAP) programs suggest that the OECD/G20 base erosion profit shifting (BEPS) project has increased the scope for differences of opinion between tax authorities of different countries. ... - Continue reading

Denmark must adopt EU controlled foreign company tax rules, Commission says

The EU Commission on July 25 decided to send a reasoned opinion to Denmark for its failure to communicate to Commission rules implementing controlled foreign company (CFC) rules required by the EU anti-tax avoidance directive (Council Directive (EU) 2016/1164 or ATAD). ... - Continue reading

British overseas territories top corporate tax loophole index

Governments are stepping up efforts to recoup more tax from multinationals, with the European Commission forcing iPhone maker Apple to repay 13 billion euros after it used Ireland to cut its tax on European profits to almost zero. The Tax Justice Network, a group campaigning for transparency, said its study… – 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

Taiwan removed from EU tax haven greylist

Taipei, March 14 (CNA) The European Union has removed Taiwan from the bloc’s greylist of tax havens, acknowledging the nation’s efforts at implementing anti-tax avoidance measures, Taiwan’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) said Thursday. The MOF vowed to continue to work with governments of other countries in the future and implement… – 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

OECD pushes for corporate tax rules overhaul

The 36-member state OECD has revealed that there is growing consensus behind a US proposal for an overhaul of global corporate tax rules, which would limit the ability of multinational companies to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions. Earlier this year, the organisation put forward four different proposals to redesign corporate… – Continue reading

Ikea Being Investigated for Dodging Taxes of More than $1.1 Billion

According to a Green party report in the European Parliament, Ikea has been accused of tax dodging for as much as 1 billion euros or $1.1 billion in its taxes from 2009 to 2014. The political organization has accused the retailer of a large scale avoidance of taxes. In the… – Continue reading

New EU rules on tax avoidance now effective

FIRST proposed by the European Commission (EU) in 2016, a set of new tax rules aimed at eliminating most common corporate tax avoidance practices came into force on 1 January 2019. The commission posted on its website on 30 December 2018 that the new tax rules known as Atad (anti-tax… – Continue reading

Anti-tax avoidance measures come into force

A new raft of anti-tax avoidance measures came into force across the EU yesterday, as part of an ongoing effort to combat corporate abuse of tax systems. The Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive, first proposed in 2016, features rules based on global standards laid out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and… – Continue reading

EU finance ministers need to deliver: Digital companies must pay tax

When European finance ministers meet on Tuesday (4 December), they should swiftly adopt the digital service tax: a levy on turnover for very large digital firms such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Booking and Spotify, write Udo Bullmann and Paul Tang. Udo Bullmann is president of the Socialist and Democrats… – Continue reading

Ireland Implements New Exit Tax Regime

Ireland’s 2018 Finance Bill legislates for a new exit tax regime compliant with the EU’s Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive. The exit tax charge was introduced via financial resolution on Budget night, October 9, 2018, and applies to certain events occurring on or after October 10. Finance Bill 2018 formally legislates for… – 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

A Bird’s Eye View on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in European Law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union (EU). The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) superseded the UK Data Protection Act 1998 on May 25, 2018. Significant and wide-reaching in scope, the new… – Continue reading

European Leaders Press for New Digital Tax at G20 Meeting

European finance officials just wrapped up a G20 summit in Argentina where they pressed for new global rules to better collect tax on digital giants like Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL 1258.15 0.04%), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB 214.67 0.02%), and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN 1829.24 0.02%), among others. The European Commision is the executive (read: tasked with… – Continue reading

Tech Groups Raise Concerns About EU Digital Tax

The European Commission’s proposal for a digital services tax would be “deeply harmful” to the EU business environment and may lead to double taxation, a coalition of business and technology groups has warned EU leaders. An open letter published by the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) ahead of the European… – Continue reading

TCI dodges EU tax haven black list

THE TURKS and Caicos Islands has managed to avoid being placed on the European Union’s tax haven black list. Although the territory was on the anti-corruption watchdog’s grey list in 2017, prudent financial measures including tax transparency and compliance have prevented international sanctions. The EU’s grey list consists of jurisdictions… – 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

Apple Will Start Paying Back Taxes to Irish Government Next Month Amid Legal Battle With European Regulators

Apple will start paying 13 billion euros in back taxes to the Irish government from May, according to the Financial Times, nearly two years after the European Commission ruled that the company received illegal aid from the country that saw its tax bill significantly reduced over the past few decades…. – Continue reading

Activists stage ‘die-ins’ at French Apple stores to protest impact of tax avoidance on social services

The Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions and Citizen’s Action —or Attac for short —staged “die-in” protests at two French Apple stores on Saturday, once again charging the company with exploiting loopholes to avoid paying its fair share of taxes. Around 70 members participated in an action at the… – Continue reading

UK property tax changes affect GCC nationals

  PROPERTY in the UK, particularly London, has always been popular with GCC investors for many years. It has remained a safe haven and an attractive destination for investors and their families from the GCC region perhaps more than any other major city. Depending on the level of investment, well… – Continue reading

TAX TALK: BEPS & ATAD RESHAPING INT’L TAX LANDSCAPE

Speakers corner: Delano asked Raymond Krawczykowski, partner and tax leader at Deloitte Luxembourg, “In your view, what have been the key changes in EU & Luxembourg tax rules in 2017, and what major shifts could be in store for 2018-19?” His response was clear: Beps and Atad. The Base Erosion… – Continue reading

EU Announces Sanctions For ‘Blacklisted’ Countries

The European Commission is to take steps to ensure that EU external development and investment funds cannot be channelled or transited through entities in countries included on the EU’s “blacklist” of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions. The Commission has published guidelines which set out the applicable legislation on how EU funds should… – Continue reading

Brussels raises new 3% tax on technology sales

The assessment to companies like Google, Facebook or Apple would raise 5 billion a year Google, Facebook and Apple have specialized in locating in a fictitious way their operations in microaffiliates located in territories or countries where corporate tax is low or even practically nil. And they have thus turned… – 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

Dutch Cabinet Approves Anti-Evasion Measures

The Government of the Netherlands has announced a comprehensive package of tax anti-avoidance proposals designed to bring the jurisdiction’s rules into line with new European Union anti-avoidance laws and fulfill its obligations under the international BEPS agenda. The plans were detailed in a parliamentary paper sent by State Secretary for… – Continue reading

EU Commission Green Lights Italy’s Electronic Invoicing Plans

The European Commission has recommended that the EU Council approve a request from Italy to derogate from the VAT Directive in introducing a mandatory electronic invoicing obligation on all taxable persons established in Italy except exempt small firms. In its request, Italy submitted that introducing an obligation to provide such… – Continue reading

Malta makes 518 mln euros from its citizenship by investment scheme

VALLETTA, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) — Malta has generated 518 million euros since it started its citizenship by investment scheme, according to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Replying to a parliamentary question on Wednesday, Muscat said that of the total revenue generated, 363 million euros had entered in the country’s National Development… – Continue reading

State aid: Commission approves the Maltese tonnage tax scheme subject to commitments

Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said “Tonnage tax systems are meant to promote the competitiveness of the EU shipping industry in a global market without unduly distorting competition. I am pleased that Malta committed to adapt its tonnage tax system to achieve this. Moreover, by encouraging the… – Continue reading

Amazon Agrees To A $118 Million Tax Settlement With Italy

Amazon reached a major tax settlement with Italy by agreeing to pay €100 million ($118 million) to the European country in order to put an end to an investigation of potential back taxes it owes that spanned the majority of this year. According to initial reports on the matter, Italian… – 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

Capital Markets Union: Commission announces new tax guidelines to make life easier for cross-border investors

The Commission has today put forward new guidelines on withholding taxes to help Member States reduce costs and simplify procedures for cross-border investors in the EU. The new Code of Conduct offers solutions for investors who, as a result of how withholding taxes are applied, end up paying taxes twice… – Continue reading

AmCham EU Speaks Out Against EU Digital Tax Proposals

The American Chamber of Commerce in the European Union has criticized the proposals put forward in the European Commission’s recent consultation on options for new tax rules or a new tax on digital firms. The aim of that consultation is to help the Commission to define an approach to the… – Continue reading

Apple Begrudgingly Agrees to Pay Ireland Nearly $15 Billion in Back Taxes

Apple, whose CEO Tim Cook likes to talk a big game about how the tech industry should be more socially responsible while overseeing an international tax-avoidance regime that puts Scrooge McDuck’s gold-filled vault/swimming pool to shame, has agreed to repay Ireland $14.6 billion (around €13 billion) in unpaid taxes, the… – Continue reading

EU competition chief Margrethe Vestager threatens Tech giants with tax reform

Europe’s fierce enforcer of competition rules is threatening tech giants with tough new rules on tax if politicians fail to come to an agreement on changes to the current system. Efforts to amend rules that would apply tax more fairly to firms which largely operate online such as Google, Amazon,… – Continue reading

CCCTB FAQ

The European Union Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) has been talked about recently as a solution to the problem of an imperfect pan-EU corporate tax system, which allows large companies, particularly those with a digital presence, to detach profits from value-creation, and pay tax in low-tax jurisdictions. But what… – Continue reading

EU Framework for resolving double tax disputes

The EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council has adopted a Directive to create a new system to resolve double taxation disputes between EU Member States. This measure will afford taxpayers a transparent process with clear deadlines applicable to tax authorities involved to resolve cross-border double tax disputes within the EU…. – Continue reading

EU to investigate UK tax loophole for multinationals

Inquiry to centre on George Osborne’s 2013 rule change that allows resident multinationals to shift income offshore The EU is to launch an investigation into a British government scheme that may help multinational firms pay less tax, the Guardian has learned. Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, will announce on… – Continue reading