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…

To refresh memories, several months ago I posted part 1 of this study on Kluwer’s International Tax Blog: Application of TNMM to Starbucks Roasting Operation: Seeking Comparables Through Understanding the Market  Part 1 briefly describes my advocated transfer pricing approach drawn from my transfer pricing law treatise and my corresponding research based upon it.  My…

An important question in the context of the recovery of fiscal state aid, is how the amount of the tax advantage to be recovered should be calculated. Recently, the Dutch legislator released a draft legislative proposal on the recovery of state aid. The starting point taken in this draft proposal is that the taxpayer should…

Tax practitioner’s in the northern hemisphere taking their summer holidays may well have included the OECD discussion draft of 5 July 2016 on the attribution of profits to permanent establishments as part of their holiday reading (a mere 40 pages). See post on July 21, 2016. Over 50 organisations and individuals submitted comments(published by the…

If the UK leaves the EU, this would have immediate consequences for direct taxation.[1] We saw in the first post that the EU fundamental freedoms, EU provisions on State aid and EU directives and regulations (also those on direct taxation) would automatically cease to apply to the UK. Referring back to the second post on…

the world is full of black and grey hat tax administrations. The U.S. has the opportunity to leverage its power as the world’s safe (tax) haven for bi-lateral information exchange as a carrot – stick policy tool to clean them up, and move them to become white hat, best practices tax administrations.

Harmonisation of the efforts to discourage tax avoidance in the EU Recently, besides the objective of maintaining a balanced allocation1 (a reflection of the principle of territoriality), the imperative of restoring trust in the fairness of tax systems has been gaining terrain as a possible justification for restrictions of free movement rights2. The Member States…

On June 27, 2016 the EU Commission published the long awaited Starbucks State Aid decision (see here).  The EU Commission’s decision challenges the outcome of the Advanced Pricing Agreement (APA) between the Netherlands Tax Authority (Tax Authority) and Starbucks Manufacturing BV (SMBV), a wholly owned and controlled coffee roasting operation. Below is the Part I…

“Improper and plainly undermines legal certainty and the rule of law.”  This is how four U.S. senators – including the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee – recently described the European Commission’s State aid investigation into tax rulings by Member States, including into Ireland’s tax treatment of Apple. Of course the…

On 6 June 2016, the European Commission finally released its decision in the McDonald’s State Aid case. After the clarifications recently provided on the Commission’s position concerning transfer pricing cases and the arm’s length principle (see especially its decision in the Belgian Excess Profits Exemption Scheme, §§ 145–150, clarifying the Commission’s reliance on an independent…

“Starbucks tax deal equals inadmissible state aid”: it was with this headline that newspapers reported on 21 October 2015 that the European Commission – instigated by Margrethe Vestager, the European Commissioner for Competition – had ruled that the Netherlands had been favouring Starbucks with an “inadmissible” tax advantage in the 20 to 30 million euro…

On January 15, 2016, in a joint (bi-partisan) letter of Senate Finance Committee Republicans and Democrats to US Treasury, one that will certainly be of interest to our friends at Wolters Kluwer (a Netherlands parent multinational enterprise), the Senate Finance Committee members encouraged Treasury to use a tit-for-tat strategy against the EU Commission.  The letter stated that…

Since the press releases confirming negative State Aid decisions in the Starbucks and Fiat tax ruling cases late October, the EU tax law community is still eagerly awaiting the publication of the actual decisions (to be published here and here). Most likely, the decisions will hinge on the concrete transfer pricing calculations made (or accepted)…