The tax agreements the Netherlands made with Starbucks are not equivalent to state aid, the European General Court ruled on Tuesday, annulling a previous ruling by the European Commission.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte refused to answer substantive questions about a tax deal between Shell and the Tax Authority in the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, leaving parliamentarians furious.
The Dutch Tax Authority will not share details on the majority of its tax rulings with multinational companies with other European Union countries, despite an obligation to share all agreements with 'cross-border effects' over the past five years with Europe, Trouw reports.
According to the Tax Authority, it makes an estimated 2 thousand deals per year with large and small companies that also have consequences for foreign countries. That amounts to around 10 thousand tax rulings that the Netherlands is obliged to share with the EU.
The G20 summit is starting in Hamburg today and the Netherlands is participating for the first time in seven years, at the invitation of German chancellor Angela Merkel. And while the Netherlands is excited about taking part in the summit, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his delegation may face some uncomfortable questions, given the Netherlands' reputation as 'tax haven'.
State Secretaries of Finance Joop Wijn (2004), Frans Weekers (2011) and Eric Wiebes (2015) all agreed to make controversial tax deals with multinational corporations, and not tell other European countries about it, Trouw reports based on internal documents from the Ministry of Finance that were released last weeks. The documents show that Finanace officials internally warned for years of the possible consequences of such agreements.
The Netherlands collected 25.7 million euros in back tax from Starbucks, a spokesperson for the European Commission said on Monday. The back tax comes from a so-called sweetheart tax deal between Starbucks and the Dutch Tax Authorities, which the European Commission ruled to be illegal state aid last year
Starbucks is still using its so-called sweetheart tax agreement with the Netherlands, despite the European Commission ruling that it constitutes illegal state aid, Financieele Dagblad reports based on the most recent financial statements from Starbucks Manufacturing Amsterdam.
The judgement made by the European Commission over the Starbucks tax agreement could have far reaching consequence across the country, with nearly 15,000 such deals having already been made. Tax authorities have seen the period between 1991 and 2014 as the main problem era, with billions at stake.
The PvdA is "shocked" by the European Commissions ruling that the Netherlands' deal with multinational Starbucks amounts to illegal State aid. As far as the party is concerned, State Secretary Eric Wiebes of Finance has "a lot of explaining to do".
The European Commission has ruled that the sweetheart tax deal between Starbucks and the Dutch tax authorities amounts to illegal State aid. The government now has to recover between 20 and 30 million euros in back taxes from the multinational. The Dutch government has responded that they are "somewhat surprised" by the ruling and remain convinced that actual international standards were applied in crafting the law.
The European Commission has found the tax deal between the Dutch tax authorities and American coffee company Starbucks unlawful according to European rules.
The Tweede Kamer (lower house of parliament) will receive a confidential and technical briefing on the agreements made between the tax authorities and the United States coffee chain Starbucks, Secretary of State Eric Wiebes (Finance) promised today.