EU to continue with tax study even after Amazon changes

Reuters News
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Posted: May 26, 2015 7:42 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Tuesday it would continue its investigation into Luxembourg's tax treatment of Amazon after reports the online retailer had changed its tax practices in Europe.

The Commission launched an in-depth investigation last October into alleged state aid Luxembourg was granting to Amazon by offering a low corporate tax rate on European profits, most of which are booked in the Grand Duchy.

"The Commission's state aid investigation is ongoing and will continue. We are examining the concerns that the tax ruling granted by Luxembourg to Amazon is providing the company with selective advantages," said Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso.

Several media reported on Tuesday that Amazon would in future pay corporate tax where the sales actually took place, such as Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.

"In the context we will of course consider any changes to Amazon group's tax structure. However, these changes going forward do not affect the ongoing EU state aid investigation regarding the possible advantage Amazon would potentially have received in the past through the tax ruling," Cardoso said.

The Commission is also investigating the tax treatment of Fiat Chrysler in Luxembourg, Apple in Ireland and Starbucks in the Netherlands.

It is also looking into Belgium's tax arrangements for multinationals.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Robert-Jan Bartunek and Mark Potter)