On 24 August, the United States Treasury Department took an unprecedentedly aggressive step and published a 26-page-long white paper on investigations by the European Commission on favorable tax regimes of some predominantly American companies. The Treasury Department strongly objects to such investigations, based on the state aid rules rather than international taxation arrangements, and the bias against American companies. Apple, Starbucks or Amazon are all on the EC radar, but as is Fiat or tens of other European companies. According to the US, though, the impact is mainly on American companies, and is unfair. The EC´s state aid approach is new and should not be applied retroactively according to the US Administration. Furthermore, if EU subsidiaries of American companies are forced to pay extra tax as compensation for past wrongdoings, their American mother companies could end up asking for tax deductions in the US – a possibility under US law for taxes paying abroad. In that way, the Treasury argues, the American taxpayer could pay the price for an unfair EU practice.
The aggressive American step came as Europe awaits a big antitrust decision in the Apple case. The EC investigates Apple´s tax arrangements in Ireland. The EC declines any bias or unfairness.
31st January 2018
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22nd January 2018