Trust Bloomberg Tax for the international news and analysis to navigate the complex tax treaty networks and global business regulations.
July 25 — Belgium lost an interim request that it shouldn't have to collect $700 million euros ($763 million) in taxes to recoup illegal tax breaks given to at least 35 companies, including Anheuser-Busch InBev NV and BP Plc.
The European Union General Court dismissed Belgium's request to stay the collection, saying “Belgium has failed to establish that, if the requested suspension of operation of the contested decision is not granted, it would be likely to suffer serious and irreparable harm.”
The July 19 interim order, by EU General Court President Marc Jaeger, isn't the final step in Belgium's appeal of the EU Commission's Jan. 11 decision, which found the country's excess profit regime constituted unlawful state aid (66 TMIN, 4/6/16).
Still at issue before the court is Belgium's full challenge of the Commission's decision that the nation's excess profit tax ruling system deviated from the arm's-length principle under the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's transfer pricing guidelines and constituted state aid to the companies receiving the rulings.
In the Jan. 11 decision, the European Commission told Belgium to claw back the full unpaid tax by the 35 global companies saying that excess-profit rulings allowed global corporations to reduce their tax base by as much as 90 percent. Belgium had offered a tax break to multinationals since 2005, allowing them to deduct profits from their taxes due to supposed intra-group synergies and economies of scale, the commission said.
Belgian authorities said the incentive was justified to prevent double taxation.
Most of the companies that benefited from the Belgian tax break, in place since 2005, are European and, unless Belgium wins the court battle, will have to repay about 500 million euros of the estimated 700 million euros in total (07 TMIN, 1/12/16)
To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin A. Bell in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rita McWilliams at email@example.com
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)