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INTERNET LAW - EU MEP Markus Ferber on Apple: Attracting investment by granting tax deals is illegal under EU rules

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Monday, September 12, 2016

 

BRUSSELS - EuropaWire-  The European Commission’s ruling that Apple should pay Ireland €13 billion in taxes has reignited the discussion of how much tax large companies should pay. We talked to Markus Ferber, one of the Parliament’s leading members on tax issues, who said the Commission’s decision enjoyed the Parliament’s full backing. He also warned that EU countries need to understand that attracting investment by granting tax deals is illegal under EU rules established by member states themselves.

Apple and other large multinationals have explained their position to Parliament’s special tax rulings committees. What do they think of the principle that taxes have to be paid where the economic activity takes place? 

They have made it very easy for themselves. They say that we have these special tax rulings and we pay the taxes the state is asking for, so everything is legal. They are right from their point of view.

This is why the Commission did not investigate Apple, IKEA, Fiat or Starbucks. The Commission investigated the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland. Companies only have to pay their taxes the same way as every other company in these countries.

This is what the member states have to understand. They can of course attract investment to their country, but they have to learn that doing so by granting tax deals is illegal under EU rules. As long as the national governments don’t understand this, we can’t complain about the companies.

Does the Commission’s ruling on Apple and Ireland send out a strong message that everyone has to comply with the state aid rules and pay their fair amount of tax? 

International companies are said to only have one third of the tax burden of small and medium-sized enterprises. If this is true, then this is something that we have to change. Those who generate profits in a certain country have to pay tax on that. It’s not happening at the moment. 

 

Read the whole article http://news.europawire.eu/eu-mep-markus-ferber-on-apple-attracting-investment-by-granting-tax-deals-is-illegal-under-eu-rules-9765423136789/eu-press-release/2016/09/07/

 

 

Source : EuropaWire



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