Tip of Iceberg? EU Rules Against Sweetheart Tax Deals for Corporations

Striking a blow against sweetheart tax deals that unfairly benefit large multinational corporations, the European Commission ruled Wednesday that Starbucks and Fiat must repay up to 30 million euros ($34 million) each in tax breaks they received from EU nations.

The decision is seen as a harbinger of a coming crackdown on such deals across the continent.

“Tax rulings that artificially reduce a company’s tax burden are not in line with EU state aid rules. They are illegal,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, declared in a statement. “I hope that, with today’s decisions, this message will be heard by member state governments and companies alike. All companies, big or small, multinational or not, should pay their fair share of tax.”

The Associated Press explained:

In addition to the coffee chain and carmaker, European Commission officials are looking at similar deals secured by Amazon in Luxembourg and Apple in Ireland, as well as those benefiting unspecified companies in other European countries.