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Vestager Hints At Fresh Probes Into Multinationals’ Tax Deals

 |  March 20, 2023

European Union regulators are likely to open investigations into international companies’ tax arrangements with EU countries, the Competitions Commission President has said on Monday. Reuters reported the investigation will survey the previous decade of activity and is expected to begin shortly.

The European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager has made numerous rulings about illegal tax deals which have caused Apple to pay 13 billion euros in back taxes and Amazon 250 million euros to Luxembourg alone. Vestager contends that these arrangements constitute unlawful tax benefits.

Related: US: Vestager stands up for EU’s ruling on tax deals while in the US

Despite her crackdown, Vestager said aggressive tax planning “is still with us”. “My services have conducted an in-depth inquiry into tax ruling practices in all member states for the period 2014-2018, and I expect this will lead to new investigations in certain countries,” she told a conference in Copenhagen. She did not name the countries or the companies.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has attracted attention as her antitrust decisions have been challenged in court. A ruling by the European Court of Justice is imminent following the overturning of Vestager’s tax orders to Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks by a lower tribunal. Nevertheless, she was successful in recovering unpaid taxes of €120 million from Engie due to Luxembourg.