EU tax-dodging probe tackles Belgium

belgian chocs

The European Union probe into tax-dodging multinationals moved into Belgium on Tuesday, where regulators believe the tax code gives an unfair tax break to multinational groups over other firms.

The high-profile investigation already has its claws into companies in three European countries – Apple in Ireland, Amazon and Fiat SpA in Luxembourg, and Starbucks in the Netherlands – all of which have denied receiving special treatment. All four could face hundreds of millions of dollars in tax-back demands if regulator’s suspicions are confirmed.

The investigation stemmed from European Commission suspicions that some advanced tax rulings may have granted certain multinational corporations an advantage over others.

In Belgium, a provision in tax laws allows companies to deduct so-called “excess profits” resulting from the advantage of being part of a multinational group, from their tax bills.

The commission said in December it would ask all 28 EU governments to provide a full list of companies that received an advance tax ruling between 2010 and 2013, the Wall Street Journal reported.