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State Aid

Tax rulings

Since June 2013, the Commission has been investigating the tax ruling practices of Member States. A dedicated Task Force Tax Planning Practices was set up in summer 2013 to follow up on public allegations of favourable tax treatment of certain companies (in particular in the form of tax rulings) voiced in the media and in national Parliaments. The Commission extended this information inquiry to all Member States in December 2014, including a list of tax rulings issued in recent years, on the basis of which individual tax rulings have been requested.

State of play of the investigations: A State aid investigation into aid measures consists typically of a preliminary phase possibly leading to a first Commission decision to initiate a formal investigation. In this decision the Commission expresses doubts about an alleged State aid measure, such as a tax ruling. A decision to initiate a formal investigation is followed by a final decision, which can either conclude that the doubts expressed are not founded or which confirms the initial doubts of the Commission, resulting in a negative decision. The list of final decisions adopted since 2014 concerning tax planning practices and the list of formal ongoing investigations is presented below.


Final decisions


Member State Title Date of decision Link to final decision Press release Case no./ link to case
Ireland State aid implemented by the Ireland to Apple 30.08.2016 Letter to the Member State - working language en IP/16/2923 SA.38373
Belgium Excess Profit exemption in Belgium – Art. 185§2 b) CIR92 11.01.2016 Letter to the Member State - working language en IP/16/42 SA.37667
The Netherlands State aid implemented by the Netherlands to Starbucks 21.10.2015 Letter to the Member State - working language en pdf IP/15/5880 SA.38374
Luxembourg State aid which Luxembourg granted to Fiat 21.10.2015 Letter to the Member State - working language en pdf IP/15/5880 SA.38375


Open formal investigations


Member State Title Date of decision Link to opening decision Press release Case no./ link to case
Luxembourg Alleged aid to Amazon 07.10.2014 Letter to the Member State - working language en pdf IP/14/1105 SA.38944
Luxembourg Alleged aid to Mc Donald's 03.12.2015 Letter to the Member State - working language en pdf IP/15/6221 SA.38945
Luxembourg Possible State aid in favour of GDF Suez (ENGIE) 19.09.2016 Letter to the Member State - working language en pdf IP/16/3085 SA.44888

Guidance


Speeches


Previous decisions

The Commission has in the past adopted numerous decisions on tax planning practices, which provide precedents in the ongoing investigations.


Related court judgements


Related information

The Commission's work in the area of tax rulings was also closely followed by the European Parliament's Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Measures Similar in Nature or Effect ("the TAXE Committee").