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EU: Belgium ordered to reverse tax breaks

 |  January 11, 2016

Thirty-five large companies have been ordered to fork over $765 million in tax breaks that European Union regulators have ruled were illegally provided by Belgium.

The European Commission, the EU’s top anti-trust regulator, said Monday that a tax benefit provided by Belgium allowed large, multinational companies to forgo taxes on as much as 90% of their profits — thus allowing them to pay “substantially less” than their competitors.

This type of preferential tax structure, which was marketed by Belgium’s tax authority under the logo “Only in Belgium,”  is illegal under EU rules, the regulator said.

Belgium was ordered to recover as much as $765 million from the 35 companies that benefited from the tax breaks.

“Such schemes put smaller competitors at an unfair disadvantage,” the European Commission’s Margrethe Vestager, said in a statement. “They are active in the same markets and have to pay their taxes fair and square,” she said.

Full content: The Wall Street Journal

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