After Apple, Amazon and Starbucks, it is the car manufacturer Fiat that wins the case against the EU

This decision imposes a new rejection on the European executive, which saw it as illegal state aid and had already lost in other cases against Apple, Amazon and Starbucks, in other tax disputes in Ireland, Luxembourg and in the Netherlands.

In October 2015, the Commission ordered Luxembourg to recover around €30 million from Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe, a Fiat Group company that provided financing services, given that the company had benefited from undue tax rebates on its profits in the Grand Duchy.

Luxembourg is regularly condemned by NGOs for its aggressive tax practices aimed at attracting investment from multinational corporations.

In September 2019, the European Court of Justice rejected appeals by Fiat and Luxembourg requesting the annulment of the Brussels decision.

But the Court of Justice of the European Union, on appeal, on Tuesday annulled that judgment of the court as well as the Commission’s decision, as it believed it had committed an “error of law” by failing to take into account in its analysis the particularities of Luxembourg tax law .

Taxation is a national competence in the European Union. “Apart from the areas where EU tax legislation is subject to harmonisation, it is the Member State concerned that, by exercising its own powers in the area of ​​direct taxation (…) determines the constitutive characteristics of the tax.” , the Court emphasized in particular.

This lawsuit is part of a broad campaign by the European Commission against tax evasion by multinational companies in the EU. Investigations have been opened in recent years under pressure from the revelations of the LuxLeaks scandal in 2014, then the Panama Papers in 2016.

The Commission’s biggest setback dates from July 2020, when European judges canceled the repayment to Ireland of €13 billion in tax benefits, which the Commission deemed unreasonable.

In May 2021, European courts approved 250 million euros in tax rebates obtained by Amazon in Luxembourg.

In 2019, the American coffee chain Starbucks had already won against Brussels, which had ordered it to repay 30 million euros in the Netherlands.


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