Amazon ordered to repay €250m by EU over ‘illegal tax advantages’
Amazon branded boxes. Pic bloomberg
London, Oct. 4 2017 (AltAfrika)-Amazon has been ordered to repay €250m (£222m) in illegal state aid to Luxembourg, as EU authorities continue their campaign against sweetheart deals that help the biggest corporations slash their tax bills.
The European commission also announced on Wednesday that it planned to take the the Irish government to the European court of justice (ECJ) over its failure to collect €13bn in unpaid taxes from Apple, in relation to an earlier ruling.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU commissioner in charge of competition, said Luxembourg’s “illegal tax advantages to Amazon” had allowed almost three-quarters of the company’s profits to go untaxed, allowing it to pay four times less tax than local rivals.
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“This is about competition in Europe, no matter your flag, no matter your ownership,” Vestager said, dismissing suggestions she was targeting non-European companies. “Paying taxes is part of doing business in Europe.”
The commission said Amazon had benefited from an illegal tax deal granted by the Luxembourg authorities that allowed the company to artificially reduce its tax bill by €250m from 2006 to 2014. The company has been ordered to repay the full amount plus interest.
Amazon rejected the findings of the commission investigation. “We believe that Amazon did not receive any special treatment from Luxembourg and that we paid tax in full accordance with both Luxembourg and international tax law. We will study the commission’s ruling and consider our legal options, including an appeal.”
The country’s government said: “As Amazon has been taxed in accordance with the tax rules applicable at the relevant time, Luxembourg considers that the company has not been granted incompatible state aid