August 1, 2021

Tax rebates in Luxembourg: Brussels appeals a decision in favor of Amazon

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Jul 22, 2021

Brussels, July 22, 2021 (AFP) – The European Commission on Thursday appealed against the decision of the EU court overturning the order given to Luxembourg to recover € 250 million in back taxes from the trade giant online Amazon.

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The ruling on 12 May was a serious setback for the Commission, which considered the tax rebates obtained by Amazon in Luxembourg to be disguised state aid. Evaluating the undue advantages at 250 million euros, the Commission ordered their reimbursement by Amazon in October 2017.

Seized by an appeal from Luxembourg and Amazon, the EU court ruled in May that “no selective advantage” had been granted to the company by the duchy. Although the tribunal “raises important legal questions”, the Commission “respectfully considers that the tribunal made a number of errors of law in its judgment,” she said in a statement.

The case must now be examined by the highest legal body in the EU, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

The EU had also appealed after its resounding defeat against Apple in July 2020. As in the case of Amazon, the EU court had quashed the order given, in 2016, to the American giant by the Commission to reimburse Ireland 13 billion euros in tax benefits.

These disputes are part of a vast campaign by the European Commission against tax evasion by multinationals within the EU. Investigations have been opened in recent years under the pressure of the revelations of the LuxLeaks scandal in 2014 and then of the Panama Papers in 2016.

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