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Eversheds comment: State aid rules an attractive route to tackling certain tax structures

  • United Kingdom

    11-02-2014

    Commenting on news that the EU's antitrust chief is looking into corporate taxation loopholes, Ben Jones, tax expert at global law firm Eversheds, says:

    “The EU state aid rules have previously been applied with some success to tackle tax rules in EU Member States that are considered to be anti-competitive. For example, Luxembourg has previously been required to change aspects of its tax system that have been found to violate EU state aid rules and, in September last year, the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition began an investigation concerning potentially unlawful state aid by Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands through favourable tax ruling systems.

    "The EU state aid rules will be an attractive route to tackle certain tax structures since these rules already exist, have wide application and strong powers to force change upon offending states or potentially recover illegal state aid. Given that the wider OECD project to tackle corporate tax planning by multinationals is likely to take time to deliver results, it is not surprising that EU members are currently looking to the State Aid rules.”

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