Tax rulings

State Aid

The EU Court of Justice holds that the General Court was wrong to confirm the reference framework used by the Commission to apply the arm’s length principle to integrated companies in Luxembourg, in failing to take into account the specific rules implementing that principle in that Member State (Fiat)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Tax rulings: The Court of Justice holds that the General Court was wrong to confirm the reference framework used by the Commission to apply the arm’s length principle to integrated companies in Luxembourg, in failing to take into account the specific rules implementing that principle in that (...)

The EU Commission Executive Vice-President Vestager issues statement following the Court of Justice’s judgment on the tax State aid case in Luxembourg (Fiat)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager following today’s Court judgment on the Fiat tax State aid case in Luxembourg* Today’s judgment by the Court of Justice annuls the Commission’s 2015 decision finding that Luxembourg granted selective tax advantages to Fiat through a (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Pikamäe proposes that the judgment of the General Court and the Commission’s decision on the ‘Spanish tax leasing scheme’ should be partially annulled (Lico Leasing / Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión / Caixabank)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Advocate General Pikamäe proposes that the judgment of the General Court and the Commission’s decision on the ‘Spanish tax leasing scheme’ should be partially annulled* In 2006, the European Commission received a number of complaints concerning the application of ‘the Spanish Tax Lease System’ (...)

The EU Court of Justice declares that national authorities responsible for the recovery of aid classified as unlawful may apply a domestic provision in order to prevent double taxation (Fossil Group)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Corporate income tax in Gibraltar: the national authorities responsible for the recovery of aid classified as unlawful may apply a domestic provision in order to prevent double taxation* Following a formal investigation procedure into the corporate income tax regime in Gibraltar, the (...)

The EU Court of Justice issues judgment on the recovery of incompatible State aid which must take into account the possible application of general rules for the avoidance of double taxation (Fossil)
Maastricht University
Recovery of Incompatible Aid and the Application of General Provisions for the Avoidance of Double Taxation* Introduction The recovery of incompatible State aid has to be carried out immediately and effectively. The Commission gives guidance to the Member State concerned how to calculate the (...)

The EU General Court issues a decision on the application of State aid rules to the tax treatment of transactions between companies that belong to the same multinational group (ITV)
Maastricht University
Territoriality and the Tax Treatment of Intra-group Transactions* A special tax rule can constitute the reference or normal system of taxation if it is “severable” from other tax rules and has its own legal logic. Introduction The application of State aid rules to the tax treatment of (...)

The EU Commission adopts State aid framework following similar COVID-19 framework providing loan guarantees, tax-breaks and other measures for energy-intensive industry
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Rome)
On March 23, 2022, the Commission adopted a Communication setting out a temporary framework for the implementation of State aid rules to support the economy following the conflict in Ukraine (the “Temporary Crisis Framework”), shortly after consulting with the Member States. The Temporary Crisis (...)

The EU Court of Justice overturns the ruling of the EU General Court paving the pay for infringement proceedings against the UK for breaching the principle of sincere cooperation (Micula)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 25 January 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) delivered its judgment in the long-running Micula case. Despite being issued by the highest EU Court, the ruling did not put an end to this long-standing saga, as the ECJ annulled the previous judgment of the General Court (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Pikamäe delivers an opinion concerning the fiscal advantages granted by Luxembourg to a subsidiary of a major car manufacturing company which could substantially change the Commission’s approach in assessing member states’ tax rulings (Fiat / Ireland)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 16 December 2021, Advocate General Priit Pikamäe delivered an Opinion in Case C-898/19 P, Ireland v Commission and Others, concerning fiscal advantages granted by Luxembourg to a Fiat group subsidiary, which – if followed by the European Court of Justice – could substantially change the (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Priit Pikamäe suggests the Court annul the Commission’s decision declaring an aid granted as being incompatible with the internal market (Fiat)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Tax ruling: Advocate General Priit Pikamäe proposes that the Court allow the appeal brought by Ireland and annul the Commission’s decision declaring aid which Luxembourg granted to Fiat as being incompatible with the internal market* He proposes, however, that the appeal brought separately by (...)

The EU General Court delivers two new landmark rulings in the field of State aid and taxation against a Big Tech company and an energy company (Amazon) (Engie)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 12 May 2021, the General Court of the European Union (“GC”) delivered two important judgments concerning tax rulings granted by Luxembourg to Amazon (Joined cases T-816/17, Luxembourg v Commission and T-318/18, Amazon EU and Amazon.com v Commission) and Engie (Joined cases T-516/18, Luxembourg (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision that ordered the recovery of €283 million from a Big Tech company back to a country for State aid (Amazon)
Maastricht University
Amazon and the Difficulty of Finding a Comparable Tax Payer* To apply the Arm’s Length Principle to transactions between two related companies, the Commission must identify the less complex company of the two and compare it to a similar independent company. Methodological errors in the (...)

The EU General Court issues two decisions on State Aid appeals brought by a major Big Tech company and an energy company (Amazon) (Engie)
Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
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Arendt & Medernach (London)
On May 12, 2021, the General Court of the European Union (EU) published its decisions on the appeals against the findings of the European Commission (EC) that State aid had been granted to Amazon and Engie by Luxembourg in the form of tax rulings resulting in non-arm’s length transfer pricing (...)

The EU Commission decides to refer the UK to the Court of Justice for failing to fully recover an illegal State aid
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission refers United Kingdom to European Court for failure to fully recover illegal tax exemption aid of up to around €100 million in Gibraltar* The European Commission has decided to refer the United Kingdom to the Court of Justice of the European Union for failing to fully (...)

The EU Court of Justice states that the French aid schemes adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic do not infringe competition law in the airline market (Ryanair) Free
Maastricht University
State Aid May be Limited to Undertakings with Close Links with the National Economy (Part II)* Introduction The European Commission acted swiftly to adopt a fairly accommodating and wide-ranging “Temporary Framework” to regulate State aid for the purposes of counter-acting the impact of (...)

The EU Court of Justice states that the deferral of the payment of taxes introduced by France to support airlines that hold a national license amid the COVID-19 pandemic is consistent with EU law (Ryanair) Free
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The deferral of the payment of taxes introduced by France to support airlines which hold a French licence amid the Covid-19 pandemic is consistent with EU law* That aid scheme is appropriate for making good the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and does not constitute (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Kokott thinks the Commission is right to consider that the Belgian practice of making downward adjustments to the profits of undertakings forming part of multinational groups constitutes an aid scheme (Magnetrol International)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
Tax rulings: According to Advocate General Kokott, the Commission was right to consider that the Belgian practice of making downward adjustments to profits of undertakings forming part of multinational groups constituted an aid scheme* The judgment of the General Court of the European Union to (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Kokott suggests annulling the judgment of the General Court and provides guidance on the concept of “aid scheme” in cases of tax rulings (Magnetrol International)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 December 2020, Advocate General Kokott delivered her opinion on the appeal brought against the judgment of the General Court in case Belgium and Magnetrol International v Commission (Cases T-131/16 and T-263/16) of 14 February 2019 (the “Judgment under appeal”), which had annulled Commission (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Kokott criticizes the Commission’s approach to progressive taxation in Poland and suggests that the Court dismiss the appeal (Commission / Poland)
Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
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Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 15 October 2020, Advocate General Kokott delivered her opinion in Case C-562/19 P, Commission v Poland, concerning the appeal of the General Court’s judgment of 16 May 2019 (Joined Cases T-836/16 and T-624/17). The judgment under appeal annulled the Commissions’ decision to open a formal State (...)

The EU Court of Justice AG Kokott agrees with the General Court that the Polish tax on the retail sector and the Hungarian advertisement tax do not infringe State aid rules (Commission / Poland) (Commission / Hungary)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
According to Advocate General Kokott, the Polish tax on the retail sector and the Hungarian advertisement tax do not infringe EU State aid rules* State aid rules do not preclude taxation of turnover of undertakings at a progressive rate Following the international trend, Poland and Hungary (...)

The EU General Court dismisses the actions for annulment in the "Spanish tax lease" saga (Spain / Lico Leasing / Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
On 23 September 2020, the General Court delivered another judgment in the “Spanish tax lease saga”, concerning certain aid measures granted through tax provisions applicable to agreements put in place for the financing and acquisition of vessels in Spain. This judgment follows the annulment and (...)

The EU General Court rules that the Spanish tax system applicable to certain finance lease agreements entered into by shipyards constitutes an aid scheme and that the unlawful State aid granted under that system must be recovered from the beneficiaries (Spain / Lico Leasing / Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The Spanish tax system applicable to certain finance lease agreements entered into by shipyards constitutes an aid scheme* The unlawful State aid granted under that system must be recovered from the beneficiaries In 2006, the European Commission received a number of complaints concerning the (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision regarding the Irish tax rulings in favor of a Big Tech company (Apple)
General Court of the European Union (Luxembourg)
The General Court of the European Union annuls the decision taken by the Commission regarding the Irish tax rulings in favour of Apple* The General Court annuls the contested decision because the Commission did not succeed in showing to the requisite legal standard that there was an advantage (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s biggest State aid recovery order worth over €13 billion in tax advantages (Apple)
New College of the Humanities (London)
Apple: One Case to Rule Them All* Some cases just have it all; the Apple case is one of them. First, size: at more than thirteen billion euros, the recovery order Ireland had to enforce dwarfed the previously biggest one (EDF, at around one billion euros). Second, international political (...)

The EU General Court strikes down the Commission’s decision ordering Ireland to recover €13 billion from a Big Tech company for illegal State aid (Apple)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (London)
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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton (Brussels)
On July 15, 2020, the European Union’s second- highest court, the General Court (the “Court”), annulled the 2016 decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) ordering Ireland to recover €13 billion (€14.3 billion with interest) in back-taxes from Apple which the Commission considered to be (...)

The EU General Court quashes a €13 billion tax ruling fine on a Big Tech company (Apple)
Free University of Brussels (ULB)
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Ashurst (Brussels)
€13 billion Apple tax recovery decision quashed On 15 July 2020, the EU General Court ("GC") handed down its much awaited judgment in the Apple case. It overturned the European Commission’s ("Commission") decision ordering Ireland to recover EUR 13 billion (plus interests) in illegal State aid (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision concerning the tax rulings in favor of a Big Tech company (Apple)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
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Hogan Lovells (Brussels)
On 15 July 2020, the General Court (the “GC”) annulled the European Commission’s (the “Commission”) decision of 30 August 2016 concerning tax rulings adopted by the Irish authorities in relation to two companies forming part of the Apple Group (the “Contested Decision”). The Contested Decision found (...)

The EU Commission publishes its 2019 annual activity report
Court of First Instance of Namur (Namur)
On 25 June 2020, the European Commission’s Directorate-General of Competition (“DG Competition”) published its 2019 Annual Activity Report. In the foreword, Olivier Guersent, Director-General of DG Competition, expresses the view that creating “European Champions” would be a mistake as all companies (...)

The EU Commission approves a Spanish “umbrella” scheme with measures that include direct grants and tax advantages, and where recipients include the self-employed affected by the COVID-19 outbreak Free
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves Spanish “umbrella” scheme to support economy in coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has approved a Spanish aid scheme to support the Spanish economy in the context of the coronavirus outbreak. The scheme was approved under the State aid Temporary (...)

The EU Commission approves a French scheme deferring payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 the outbreak Free
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission approves French scheme deferring payment by airlines of certain taxes to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus outbreak* The European Commission has found a French scheme deferring the payment by airlines of certain aeronautical taxes to be in line with EU State aid (...)

The EU Court of Justice rules on a preliminary ruling request regarding the Hungarian turnover taxes in the telecoms sector (Vodafone / Tesco / Google)
Maastricht University
Has an Economic Myth Become a Legal Fact? The Case of Turnover Taxes* Introduction Recent cases involving “turnover” taxes have sparked a debate in the literature and on the conference circuit not only because they raise novel issues but also because of their implications for other taxes which (...)

The EU Court of Justice clarifies the conditions in which a legal person liable to pay a tax can plead its incompatibility with the EU State aid rules before a national court (Vodafone)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 March 2020, the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice (the “ECJ”) delivered another judgment in the field of taxation and State aid (Vodafone Magyarország Mobil Távközlési Zrt., C-75/18). While this judgment does not substantially develop the case law in this field, it contains useful (...)

The EU Court of Justice provides a preliminary ruling relating to a dispute between several electricity and hydroelectricity producers concerning a tax on the use of inland waters for the production of electricity (UNESA)
Maastricht University
CAN A TAX (RATHER THAN A TAX EXEMPTION) CONFER A SELECTIVE ADVANTAGE?* Introduction A tax exemption normally confers a selective advantage, unless it is justified by the logic of the tax. Counterintuitively, a tax itself can be selectively advantageous if its scope is too narrow. As the (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgments providing important guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations concerning tax measures (Fiat / Starbucks)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 24 September 2019, the General Court delivered two judgments in Cases T-755/15, Luxembourg v. Commission and T-759/15, Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe v. Commission, providing important guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgments clarifying how State aid rules apply to national tax rulings and determines whether a transfer pricing ruling in respect of intra-group transactions confers a selective advantage under the State aid rules (Fiat / Starbucks)
Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
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Baker Botts (Brussels)
On 24 September 2019, the General Court (the ‘Court’) upheld the European Commission’s (the ‘Commission’) ruling ordering Luxembourg to recover EUR 23.1 million from Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe (‘FFT’) and annulled the Commission’s ruling ordering the Netherlands to recover EUR 25.7 million from (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgments providing guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations (Fiat / Starbucks)
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Chicago)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Washington)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
Introduction On September 24, 2019, the EU General Court (General Court) issued its long-awaited judgments in relation to the appeals brought against two European Commission (EC) decisions of 2015 concluding that tax rulings granted by The Netherlands and Luxembourg conferred illegal state aid (...)

The EU General Court delivers two judgments providing guidance on the application of the arm’s length principle in the context of State aid investigations (Fiat / Starbucks)
Arendt & Medernach (London)
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Arendt & Medernach (Luxembourg)
THE GENERAL COURT’S JUDGEMENT IN FFT: A CRITIQUE* In its judgments on 24 September in the FFT and Starbucks cases, the EU General Court gave its first view on the European Commission’s tax ruling decisions. These decisions were novel and complex in that they sought to assess whether the tax (...)

The EU General Court clarifies the burden of proof that has to be met by the Commission to demonstrate the existence of an advantage in the context of tax rulings (Starbucks)
CMS (Brussels)
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Latham & Watkins (Brussels)
On 24 September 2019, the General Court (‘GC’) rendered its first two Judgments assessing under which circumstances EU State aid rules can curtail Member States’ sovereignty to adopt individual tax rulings. In the Starbucks Judgment discussed here, the GC ruled in favour of Starbucks since the (...)

The EU General Court provides further guidance concerning the concept of State aid in the context of fiscal measures favoring port authorities (Port autonome du Centre) (Port de Bruxelles) (Havenbedrijf Antwerpen)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 20 September 2019, the General Court delivered three judgments (Cases T-673/17, Port autonome du Centre and de l’Ouest and Others v. Commission, T-674/17, Le Port de Bruxelles and Région de Bruxelles-Capitale v. Commission, T-696/17, Havenbedrijf Antwerpen and Maatschappij van de Brugse (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation to assess whether “excess profit” tax rulings granted by Belgium to multiple multinational companies are in line with EU State aids rules
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigations into individual “excess profit” tax rulings granted by Belgium to 39 multinational companies* The European Commission has opened separate in-depth investigations to assess whether “excess profit” tax rulings granted by Belgium to 39 multinational (...)

The EU General Court annuls a State aid decision from the Commission concerning the food production sector in Romania (Micula)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 18 June 2019, the General Court of the European Union (the “General Court”) handed down its long-awaited judgment in the Micula case (Cases T-624/15, T-694/15 and T-704/15, European Food and Others v Commission, EU:T:2019:423). The case finds its origins in the investment made by the Miculas, (...)

The EU General Court holds that the Commission was wrong to classify as State aid a progressive tax on the retail sector involving a high starting threshold (Commission / Poland)
Greenberg Traurig (Amsterdam)
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Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (London)
The EU’s General Court has rejected the EU Commission’s classification of a Polish tax on the retail sector as State aid: Poland v Commission (Joined Cases T-836/16 and T-624/17). The fact that the tax was progressive in nature with a high threshold was not sufficient to meet the requirement that (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision which classified Belgium’s "excess profit" tax scheme as State aid (Magnetrol International)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 14 February 2019, the General Court (“GC”) issued a judgment annulling the decision of the European Commission (the “Commission”) concerning the Belgian “excess profit” tax rulings (Joined Cases T-131/16 and T-263/16, Belgium and Magnetrol International v. Commission). Under Belgian law, Belgian (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s State aid decision regarding the Belgian excess profits tax ruling system (Magnetrol International)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
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Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
In a Decision of 11 January 2016, the European Commission declared the Belgian excess profit scheme, pursuant to which Belgium granted advance tax rulings authorising Belgian entities which were part of multinational groups to exempt part of their profits from corporate income taxation, (...)

The EU General Court overturns the Commission’s finding that Belgium granted unlawful State aid through advance tax rulings (Magnetrol International)
Maastricht University
Many Tax Rulings Do Not Make a Single Aid Scheme* The autonomy that Member States enjoy in the field of direct taxation must be exercised in compliance with EU State aid law. A State aid measure is considered to be a “scheme” when (a) no further implementing acts are necessary, (b) the granting (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into the tax treatment of an US multinational company in the Netherlands (Nike)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into tax treatment of Nike in the Netherlands* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether tax rulings granted by the Netherlands to Nike may have given the company an unfair advantage over its competitors, (...)

The EU Commission finds that Gibraltar’s tax rulings favoring multinational companies are illegal under EU State aid rules
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission concludes Gibraltar gave around €100 million of illegal tax advantages to multinational companies* The European Commission has found that Gibraltar’s corporate tax exemption regime for interest and royalties, as well as five tax rulings, are illegal under EU State aid (...)

The EU Commission finds that the non-taxation of certain profits of a fast-food company in Luxembourg is in line with the EU State aid rules (McDonald’s)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission investigation did not find that Luxembourg gave selective tax treatment to McDonald’s* The Commission has found that the non-taxation of certain McDonald’s profits in Luxembourg did not lead to illegal State aid, as it is in line with national tax laws and the (...)

The EU Commission holds that Luxembourg did not grant illegal State aid to a fast-food company as a consequence of the exemption of income attributed to a US branch (McDonald’s)
Stockholm University
Fiscal State Aid and Tax Treaty Law: the puzzling decision in the McDonald’s Case* On 17 December 2018 the European Commission issued the public version of its decision in the McDonald’s case (SA.38945). The Commission found, contrary to its initial conclusion in the opening decision, that (...)

The EU General Court denies video-on-demand distributors’ standing to appeal a Commission decision authorizing a German cinema aid scheme (Netflix / Apple)
McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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McDermott Will & Emery (Brussels)
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Norton Rose Fulbright (Brussels)
All State Aid decisions taken by the EC can be subject to an action for annulment. In practice, however, it has been very difficult for complainants to successfully bring admissible actions for annulment of EC decisions approving aid because of EU courts’ strict interpretation of the locus (...)

The EU Commission asks Luxembourg to recover around €120 million which correspond to illegal tax benefits granted to an energy provider (Engie)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission finds Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Engie; has to recover around €120 million* The European Commission has found that Luxembourg allowed two Engie group companies to avoid paying taxes on almost all their profits for about a decade. This is illegal under EU State (...)

The EU Commission finds that an Irish tax exemption aimed at changing consumer behavior concerning harmful sweetened drinks is not State aid
Maastricht University
Exemptions from Product-Specific Taxes* Tax exemptions do not constitute State aid when they aim to induce change in the behaviour of consumers, when they distinguish between harmful products and non-harmful products and for reasons of administrative simplicity. Introduction In the past two (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation into UK statutory rules exempting some financing incomes earned by foreign subsidiaries
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (London)
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Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (Brussels)
On 26 October 2017, the European Commission (the Commission) opened an in-depth investigation into UK statutory rules that exempt certain financing income earned by foreign subsidiaries of UK corporate taxpayers from UK tax. The Commission’s investigation will focus on whether the UK Controlled (...)

The EU Commission orders Luxembourg to recover illegal tax benefits worth €250 million (Amazon)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The European Commission has found that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon worth around €250 million. These benefits allowed Amazon to pay four times less taxes than other companies Luxembourg is now required to recover the amount that Amazon should have paid. This decision follows (...)

The EU Commission concludes that Luxembourg has granted undue tax benefits to an e-commerce company (Amazon)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission finds Luxembourg gave illegal tax benefits to Amazon worth around €250 million* The European Commission has concluded that Luxembourg granted undue tax benefits to Amazon of around €250 million. This is illegal under EU State aid rules because it allowed Amazon to pay (...)

The EU Commission refers Ireland before the Court of justice for failure to recover illegal tax benefits from a US Big Tech company (Apple)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission refers Ireland to Court for failure to recover illegal tax benefits from Apple worth up to €13 billion* The European Commission has decided to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failing to recover from Apple illegal State aid worth up to €13 billion, as (...)

The EU Court of Justice upholds an appeal by the Commission concerning the selectivity of a Spanish tax measure (World Duty Free Group)
Maastricht University
Selectivity Stretched* Derogations that result in different tax treatment are selective measures. Introduction On 21 December 2016, the Commission achieved an important legal victory when the Court of Justice found in its favour in the judgment in joint cases C‑20/15 P and C‑21/15 P, (...)

The EU Court of Justice rejects an appeal concerning a Spanish aid measure in favor of a public broadcaster, finding that the amount of aid granted did not depend solely on the amount of tax paid by the appellants (DTS)
Maastricht University
Funding of the Spanish Public Broadcaster and Hypothecation of Taxes* Tax payers have grounds to object to a tax on the basis of Article 107(1) TFEU only when the tax is “asymmetrical” or when it is “hypothecated” to an aid measure. Introduction On 10 November 2016, the Court of Justice ruled in (...)

The EU Commission finds that a Hungarian progressive tax on publishers of adverts is an unlawful State aid which must be recovered (Commission / Hungary)
Maastricht University
Identification of the Reference Tax System: The Case of a Tax on Advertising Turnover* Turnover taxes should be levied at a single rate. Introduction This is the fourth case involving turnover taxes that have been declared to be incompatible with the internal market . A brief summary was (...)

The EU Commission opens an in-depth investigation concerning undue tax benefits potentially granted by Luxembourg to an energy provider (Engie)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens in-depth investigation into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of GDF Suez (now Engie)* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of the GDF Suez group (now Engie). The Commission has concerns that several tax rulings issued (...)

The EU Commission finds that Ireland granted undue tax benefits to a US leading Big Tech company (Apple)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to €13 billion* The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other (...)

The EU Commission declares Irish tax rulings favoring a Big Tech company to be contrary to State aid provisions (Apple)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 30 August 2016, the European Commission announced its decision finding that Ireland has granted selective tax advantages to Apple. According to the press release of the Commission, the two tax rulings at stake issued by Ireland to Apple substantially and artificially lowered the tax paid by (...)

The EU Commission concludes Ireland granted undue tax benefits to a Big Tech company (Apple)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Ireland gave illegal tax benefits to Apple worth up to €13 billion* The European Commission has concluded that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. This is illegal under EU state aid rules, because it allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax than other (...)

The EU Commission publishes its largest-ever negative State aid decision regarding tax arrangements, requiring Ireland to recover €13 billion of aid (Apple)
Oxera (London)
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Oxera (Brussels)
I. Introduction 1. On 30 August 2016, the European Commission announced its largest-ever negative State aid decision requiring Ireland to recover €13bn of aid (plus interest) from Apple as a result of its tax rulings with Ireland . In the year leading up to this announcement, the Commission (...)

The EU Commission confirms that Ireland granted illegal State aid to a Big Tech company (Apple)
Simmons & Simmons (Luxembourg)
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Simmons & Simmons (Luxembourg)
On 30 August 2016, the EU commission confirmed that in their view, Ireland granted illegal State Aid to Apple. Such State Aid is allegedly granted in the form of a selective tax treatment. The decision is the latest in the EU Commission’s moves to use State Aid principles in a direct tax (...)

The EU Commission refers Ireland to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to recover illegal tax benefits (Apple)
Gómez-Acebo & Pombo (Brussels)
The European Commission has referred Ireland to the Court of Justice of the EU for failing to comply with its Decision of 30 August 2016. In the said decision, the Commission established that Ireland had granted certain tax benefits to Apple allowing the la er to pay substantially less tax (...)

The US Government positions itself as a supporter of Ireland regarding the EU Commission’s tax ruling (Apple)
United Nations (New York)
Digesting the Apple tax ruling* Commissioner Vestager’s edict on Apple’s tax arrangements in Ireland sent forceful ripples through both sides of the Atlantic on August 30th, 2016. The European Commission is no stranger to ruffling corporate and sovereign feathers, most famously by blocking the (...)

The EU Commission publishes Working Paper on State aid and tax rulings
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 3 June 2016, the European Commission published a working paper on state aid and tax rulings (the “Working Paper”). The Working Paper brings together relevant findings of the Commission in the politically sensitive area of state aid and corporate taxation. In particular, the Working Paper (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision finding Spain’s tax lease system constitutes illegal State aid (Spain / Lico Leasing / Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión)
European Court of Justice (Luxembourg)
The Spanish tax lease case: Identifying the beneficiary under the selectivity test in Fiscal aid schemes*In its judgment of 17 December 2015, Spain a.o./Commission the General Court once again annulled a Commission decision dealing with a fiscal State aid scheme on the grounds that the (...)

The EU General Court annuls the Commission’s decision declaring the Spanish tax lease system to constitute illegal State aid (Spain / Lico Leasing / Pequeños y Medianos Astilleros Sociedad de Reconversión)
ADIF (Madrid)
1. Introduction On July 2011 the Commission launched an investigation into a Spanish scheme for the purchase of ships involving leasing and financing through tax relief. The complex scheme granted company income tax discounts to investors that invested in an Economic Interest Grouping (“EIG”) (...)

The EU Commission opens a formal investigation concerning undue tax benefits potentially granted by Luxembourg to a fast food restaurant chain (McDonald’s)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission opens formal investigation into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of McDonald’s* The Commission has opened a formal probe into Luxembourg’s tax treatment of McDonald’s. Its preliminary view is that a tax ruling granted by Luxembourg may have granted McDonald’s an advantageous tax (...)

The EU Commission orders claw back in the first decisions to emerge in its crackdown on corporate tax avoidance (Fiat / Starbucks)
Simmons & Simmons (Brussels)
On 21 October 2015, the European Commission adopted its first two decisions on the compatibility of tax rulings with EU State aid rules. The first case related to a Dutch tax ruling granted to Starbucks. The second case involved Fiat’s finance company, based in Luxembourg. In both cases, the (...)

The EU Commission decides selective tax advantages for an automobile company in Luxembourg are illegal under EU State aid rules (Fiat)
Van Bael & Bellis (Brussels)
On 9 June 2016, the Commission published the non-confidential version of its decision in its state aid investigation into Fiat’s tax arrangements in Luxembourg. As reported previously, the Commission press release issued in October 2015 explained that Luxembourg had breached EU state aid rules (...)

The EU Commission concludes that Luxembourg and the Netherlands granted illegal tax advantages to two companies (Fiat / Starbucks)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
Commission decides selective tax advantages for Fiat in Luxembourg and Starbucks in the Netherlands are illegal under EU state aid rules* The European Commission has decided that Luxembourg and the Netherlands have granted selective tax advantages to Fiat Finance and Trade and Starbucks, (...)

The EU Commission finds that Greek tax measures that benefit a container terminal are incompatible with State aid rules (Piraeus / Cosco)
Maastricht University
*Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU General Court holds that a tax measure that applies to certain transactions is not selective if it does not preclude any company or type of asset (Netherlands Maritime Technology Association)
Maastricht University
Tax Measures with Specific Objectives Can still Be General* A tax measure that applies to certain transactions is not selective if it does not preclude any company or type of asset. Conditions for the application of a tax measure may be justified by the logic of the tax system. The Commission (...)

The EU General Court holds that tax measures are selective when they constitute an exception or deviation from the normal tax system, and are limited to a pre-defined group of undertakings (Banco Santander)
Maastricht University
* Article published on StateAidHub: http://stateaidhub.eu, republished in e-Competitions with the courtesy of the author. The original title of this article appears below the e-Competitions title. Authors are welcome to write an alternative article on this case/text, provided they have no (...)

The EU Commission holds that infrastructure projects which are economic in nature are subject to State aid scrutiny regardless of their importance (Øresund Link)
Maastricht University
An Important Project of Common European Interest* Infrastructure projects which are economic in nature are subject to State aid scrutiny regardless of their importance. However, public funding of transport networks which are open to all users does not constitute State aid. Introduction State (...)

The EU Commission continues to scrutinize tax rulings to check their compliance with the arm-length principle and State aid rules (Amazon)
New College of the Humanities (London)
Luxembourg, Amazon, and the State aid connection* The Commission’s opening decision: What should we make of Amazon’s ‘advance pricing agreement’ (APA) and its alleged (non-) compliance with the ‘arm’s length principle’ (ALP)? In early October 2014, the European Commission notified Luxembourg of its (...)

The EU Commission opens an investigation concerning transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of an online store in Luxembourg (Amazon)
European Commission - DG COMP (Brussels)
State aid: Commission investigates transfer pricing arrangements on corporate taxation of Amazon in Luxembourg* The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether the decision by Luxembourg’s tax authorities with regard to the corporate income tax to be paid by (...)

The EU Commission applies a "private tax-payer test" for State aid (Apple)
University of Bristol - Law School
A ’private tax-payer test’ for State aid? ... or how the Commission is not getting it (about the Apple APA case)* Thanks to @Detig’s twitter encouragement, I have finally set out to read the recently released 11 June 2014 Decision of the European Commission SA.38373 in the case of alleged Irish (...)

The EU Commission analyses whether tax rulings issued by Ireland to a Big Tech company can constitute legal State aid (Apple)
New College of the Humanities (London)
The Apple state aid investigation: fiscal state aid at its best* Oddly enough, state aid has recently been making headlines. In June, the Commission decided to open three in-depth investigations into tax rulings issued by Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in relation to Apple, Fiat and (...)

The EU Commission explains once again that tax rulings in case of advance pricing agreements can constitute State aids (Fiat)
New College of the Humanities (London)
Driving in the wrong direction? The opening decision in Fiat* What are we to make of the Commission’s decision to open an in-depth investigation into the tax treatment of Fiat Finance and Trade (FFT) by Luxembourg? In late September 2014, the Commission published its decision to open an (...)

The EU Commission investigates national tax rulings on transfer pricing (Starbucks / Apple / Fiat)
White & Case (Brussels)
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Deloitte (Brussels)
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White & Case (Brussels)
The European Commission (“EC”) has long sought to eliminate so-called harmful tax competition, which it sees as undermining the integrity of the internal market, fair competition and the fiscal sustainability of the Member States. Although the EU Member States remain sovereign in this area, over (...)

The Italian Supreme Court refers for a preliminary ruling to the EU Court of Justice the question of whether Italian tax relief measures for cooperative societies constitute State aid within Art. 87 EC (Famiglia Coop Agricola Carli Albino)
Eujus (Rome)
Factual background Under Italian tax rules, cooperative societies benefit from significant fiscal reliefs. The ability to benefit from the reliefs is dependant upon the not-for-profit nature of the activity performed by the cooperative. Similarly to tax purposes, the not-for-profit nature is (...)

The EU Commission rules that preferential tax regimes for financial holdings granted by Luxembourg are incompatible with State aid rules (Milliardaires Holdings & Holdings of 1929)
European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
State aid and preferential tax regimes for financial holdings - The Luxembourg’s Exempt 1929 Holdings case* Taxation and the competitive structure of financial services markets ong> “Traditional” financing has changed considerably in the past century and traditional lending institutions (banks) (...)

The Italian Supreme Court holds that a cooperative societies’ tax break should be qualified as a State aid because it involves a lower tax income into the public budget and refers the case to the EU Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling (Maricoltori Alto Adriatico)
Eujus (Rome)
Factual background Under Italian tax rules, cooperative societies benefit from significant tax exemptions. After an inspection of the Italian tax policy, the local tax office of Monfalcone decided that Mr. F.M.’s individual income tax return, for the years 1984, 1985 and 1986, was inaccurate. (...)

The EU Commission issues a negative decision on an Italian State aid scheme providing business tax incentives in favor of newly listed companies on regulated stock exchanges in the Union
European Commission - Legal Service (Brussels)
"The Italian tax premium in favour of newly listed companies and the notion of selectivity relative to direct business taxation"* Background A recent negative decision by the Commission of 16 March 2005 on an Italian State aid scheme providing generous business tax incentives in favour of (...)

The EU General Court rules that fiscal aid granted by a Spanish region to a company active in the manufacturing of tin capsules constitutes illegal State aid (Diputación Foral de Alava)
European Parliament (Brussels)
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London School of Economics (London)
"Business taxation distorting the Common market – An important ruling on State aid by the Court of First Instance"* 1. Introduction The question of state aids in form of tax measures has never been as pressing as in the present. After the completion of the single market and the liberalisation (...)

The EU Commission decides that tax measures for banks introduced by an Italian piece of legislation are incompatible with State aid rules and orders their recovery
European Commission - DG MOVE (Brussels)
"The restructuring of the Italian banking sector: State aid cannot assist mergers"* Introduction On 11 December 2001, the European Commission decided that the tax measures for banks introduced by Italian Law n° 461/98 of 23 December 1998 and the related Legislative Decree n° 153/99 of 17 May (...)

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