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Netherlands appeals EC state aid ruling in Starbucks

The Dutch ministry of finance has issued a statement confirming that the Netherlands will be appealing the European Commission’s ruling in October that the country provided state aid to Starbucks Manufacturing EMEA BV.

The EC ruled that an advance pricing agreement (APA) granted by the Netherlands to Starbucks Manufacturing in 2008 allowed a ‘selective advantage’. It found that payments by the Dutch entity to related Starbucks entities (i.e. payments of royalties to a UK limited partnership for coffee-roasting ‘know-how’ and the purchase of green coffee beans from a Swiss establishment) were excessive and not at ‘arm’s length’. The EC decided the APA therefore amounted to illegal state aid because it allowed the allocation of too little taxable profit to the Netherlands by allowing most of the profits of the Dutch subsidiary to be shifted to other jurisdictions.

‘The Netherlands stays committed to fight tax avoidance …...

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