With the General’s Court ruling on July 15, 2020, a first step has been taken in the question whether the Irish government has provided Apple with State Aid. So far, the General Court has ruled that the Commission has not been able to prove that the Irish government has provided State Aid to Apple. The…

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 implications: the case ignited transatlantic tensions between the EU and the USA, both…

In the aftermath of the surge in COVID-19 related government support to businesses and just days after UK Brexit negotiators announced not to extend the deadline for the ongoing negotiations with the European Union, the European Commission launched its “White Paper on levelling the playing field as regards foreign subsidies” on 17 June 2020. It…

The decisions of European Court of Justice (CJEU) in the Vodafone and Tesco cases[1] were eagerly awaited by many interested in EU tax law. It was expected that the CJEU would answer the question whether progressive turnover-based business taxes levied on certain sectors of the economy are compatible with EU law, more specifically with the…

The General Court of the European Union has issued two awaited rulings in the Starbucks[1] and Fiat[2] cases. The length and the depth of the analysis made by the judges of the General Court should be acknowledged, even if certain key issues are perhaps too rapidly dealt with. Although the Commission lost in Starbucks, the…

William Byrnes, Texas A&M University School of Law* (33-page draft research available on SSRN) Howdy!  Earlier today the General Court of the European Court of Justice (EGC) sided with Starbucks’ transfer pricing analysis of its Dutch coffee roaster, and thus against the European Commission’s approach. Thus, I feel that my transfer pricing research about this…

I have received several requests this July 4th holiday in the U.S. about my initial thoughts on the EU Commission’s 56-page published (public version from earlier this week) State Aid preliminary decision with the reasoning that The Netherlands government provided Nike an anti-competitive subsidy via the tax system.  My paraphrasing of the following EU Commission…

In a little more than one week we saw a series of judgments and a European Commission decision that may again test the limits of the European Union’s state aid system in its application to matters of direct taxation. On March 7, 2019 the Commission started a formal state aid investigation into the tax deduction…

Lawyers across Europe holding their breath while awaiting the General Court’s ruling on the Belgian Excess Profits case were doubtlessly disappointed. On Valentine’s Day, the General Court reminded the European Commission that “tough love” is always a possibility, but the Commission’s defeat is no mortal blow. Its decision was annulled on more or less “technical”…

Following three years of investigation, McDonald’s has been cleared from the charge that it received fiscal state aid from Luxembourg, by virtue of the European Commission’s concluding decision of 19 September 2018. Thus, the Commission seems to have closed one of the various fronts opened in the fiscal state aid area in the last five…

The Tax Court of Canada decision in Alta Energy Luxembourg S.A.R.L. v. The Queen, 2018 TCC 152 (CanLII) on August 22, 2018 may provide useful pointers to the meaning and application of the PPT found in Article 7(1) of the MLI and Article 29(9). A Luxembourg resident company claimed exemption from Canadian income tax under…

An analysis from a State Aid perspective. This contribution focuses on the profit split methodology in light of current EU Commission’s investigations in the area of tax rulings and transfer pricing[1]. Prior to my points, I shall make some brief preliminary comments to set the scene. According to the EU Commission a tax ruling confers…

Much changed in the world of taxation the last couple of years. The OECD started and finished the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit shifting) project. The objective of BEPS was to develop rules that would prohibit multinational enterprises to implement tax avoiding structures or tax evasive set-ups. The EU investigated the tax structures of Apple,…

The European Union’s Court of Justice finally rendered its judgement in the famous Banco Santander and Autogrill cases on 21 December 2016. For state aid specialists and tax lawyers this decision was bound to be a landmark case whatever way it would turn out. In this decision the Court essentially had to decide on the…