Starbucks retains Dutch tax favours after EU case

The EU’s General Court ruled in favor of Starbucks Corporation on Tuesday in a case involving a tax deal between Starbucks and the Dutch government. Europe’s second-highest court overturned a 2015 EU order requiring the coffee mogul to pay up to €30 million in back taxes as part of an EU crackdown on multinational tax avoidance.

The European Commission’s 2015 decision claimed the Dutch government should reclaim over €25 million in taxes from Starbucks because a tax deal conflicted with EU regulations. In a 2015 statement over the decision, the EU claimed, “a tax ruling issued by the Dutch authorities in 2008 gave a selective advantage to Starbucks Manufacturing, which has unduly reduced Starbucks Manufacturing’s tax burden since 2008 by €20 – €30 million.”

In the Ministry of Finance’s official response to Tuesday’s decision, State Secretary Snel said, “This judgment means that the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration did not treat Starbucks any differently or more favourably than other companies.”

The coffee company reportedly said in an email, “Starbucks welcomes the decision by the European Court that makes clear Starbucks did not receive any special tax treatment from the Netherlands. Starbucks pays all of its taxes wherever they are due.”

Featured Image: Leonid Mamchenkov [Flickr]


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