Fiscalité : le CESE soutient une majorité qualifiée – La Cour de Justice condamne Fiat, et blanchit Starbucks … ! – Les Pays-Bas vont en appel de la décision de la Commission européenne déclarant les avantages fiscaux (rulings) de Fiat et Starbucks illégaux et condamnant ceux-ci à rembourser … les Etats, par ailleurs délinquants !

Le conseil économique et social européen (CESE)  soutient la nécessité d’adopter une majorité qualifiée au Conseil européen pour les matières fiscales :


Tax: Fiat and Starbucks rulings show urgent need for better EU laws on tax avoidance

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Today, the European General Court has annulled the Commission’s decision on the fiscal state aid measure implemented by the Netherlands in favour of Starbucks and confirmed the Commission’s decision on the aid measure granted by Luxembourg to Fiat.

Sven Giegold MEP, financial affairs spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group, comments:

« Today’s rulings by the General Court shows that we need much better EU-wide rules to end tax avoidance by multinationals. The court rulings prove the strengths and weaknesses of using the EU’s State Aid rules to fight tax dumping, and show the urgent need to review and improve the State Aid framework. We should not have to rely on lengthy Commission investigations and Court decisions to achieve tax justice. EU Member States should not be allowed to aid and abet the tax avoidance of large companies. We expect Margrethe Vestager to use her hearing with the Parliament to draw conclusions from the judgements.”

« We need public country-by county reporting on multinationals’ tax bills, which is currently being blocked by Member States in the Council. The Commission and Member States must take immediate action to move forward on the tax legislation that are already on the table. As the Court confirmed the ruling against Luxembourg, the Commission should now take the opportunity to look into all similar cases of tax avoidance in Luxembourg and claw back the illegal state aid. One symbolic judgement against Fiat is not enough to restore fair competition. »

Molly Scott Cato MEP, tax spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group, comments:

« Today’s two different tax rulings on two similar cases shows we need to improve the EU’s toolbox in the fight against tax avoidance. So long as companies can continue to get away without paying their fair share, social injustice will continue to increase. The new Commission must show its commitment to fight multinational tax avoidance to prove to the public that the EU can fight for their interests.

« We need bold and ambitious tax reforms and an end to unanimity on tax issues in the Council. So long as a handful of Member States can block action on tax for the benefit of shareholders of large companies we will never achieve tax justice. »


In reaction to the ruling, Eurodad’s tax coordinator, Tove Ryding, commented: 
Brussels, 24 September 2019 – Today, the European Court of Justice ruled in two cases, in which the European Commission had alleged that EU Member States broke EU state aid rules by providing selective tax advantages to specific multinational corporations. In the case concerning Luxembourg and Fiat, the court ruled in favour of the European Commission, but in the case concerning the Netherlands and Starbucks, it ruled against.
In 2014, EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager opened official state aid investigations into specific secret tax deals provided by Luxembourg and the Netherlands to Fiat and Starbucks respectively. In 2016, the Commission concluded that in both cases, the EU Member States had violated the EU state aid rules. Consequently, the Commission ordered Luxembourg and the Netherlands to recover €20-€30 million in unpaid tax from each company. Both cases were appealed to the European Court of Justice, which delivered its ruling today.
Tove Maria Ryding, Eurodad Tax Coordinator, said:
“Through its ruling in the case concerning Luxembourg and Fiat, the European Court of Justice has confirmed that secret tax deals between governments and multinational corporations can, in some cases, constitute illegal state aid. This is important. However, the fact that the court ruled against the Commission in the case concerning the Netherlands and Starbucks is a reminder that state aid rules are difficult to use as a tax collection mechanism.
“The cracks in our international tax system cannot be patched up with EU state aid rules. The only way to ensure that multinational corporations are taxed fairly and effectively is to throw the existing corporate tax rules in the bin and create a new and better system. »
In addition to today’s ruling, the court is currently considering the tax-related state aid case concerning Ireland’s treatment of Apple. In this case, the Commission ordered Ireland to recover approximately €13 billion from the corporation.
“We are all affected when multinational corporations avoid large amounts of taxes …


Les Pays-Bas vont en appel de la décision de la Commission européenne :


La Commission s’est prononcée ! Le montant à récupérer par les 2 pays est de 20 à 30 millions d’euros pour chacune de ces entreprises : une aumône ! La Commission continue à enquêter sur les rulings accordés en Belgique, en Irlande et au Luxembourg … mais déclare aussi qu’elle n’a pas les moyens d’aller très en profondeur et donc de passer au crible tous les rulings. Pour Fiat, la société avait placé sa banque interne au Luxembourg (devinez pourquoi !) et bénéficiait d’une base imposable fixe, quelle que soit son développement ultérieur ! Pour Starbucks, domiciliée en Hollande, elle avait une filiale en Suisse vers laquelle elle évacuait des bénéfices importants … ! Et voilà pourquoi votre fille est muette … et les PME, les petits contribuables et pays en développement sont floués ! Ceci mettrait fin à la volonté affichée de la Commission de combattre en profondeur la recherche d’avantages comparatifs fiscaux : voir ici l’analyse de Prem Sikka

Un article de Christian Chavagneux (Alternatives Economiques) :

La déclaration de Tax Justice Network qui se félicite de ce premier pas vers la fin de la course à l’impôt zéro au sein de l’Union européenne …

TJN Briefing EU tax rulling1

la réaction de Transparence Internationale (TI) :

And for the Dutch speaking people, here’s a piece by Tax Justice Netherlands :

et … la réaction des accusés qui iront en appel en justice et se réfèrent à l’OCDE … ils ne font que suivre les réglementations de celle-ci !

« Starbucks shares the concerns expressed by the Netherlands government that there are significant errors in the decision, and we plan to appeal since we followed the Dutch and OECD rules available to anyone.

The dispute between the European Commission and the Netherlands as to which OECD rules we and others should follow could require us to pay about €20m to €30m on top of the $3bn in global taxes we have paid over the seven years in question (2008-2014).

Starbucks complies with all OECD rules, guidelines and laws and supports its tax reform process. Starbucks has paid an average global effective tax rate of roughly 33%, well above the 18.5% average rate paid by other large US companies.”

 et la réaction Luxembourgeoise :