Eversheds comments on news that EU antitrust chief is looking into tax loopholes

Eversheds has commented on the news that the European Union’s (EU’s) antitrust chief is looking into corporate taxation loopholes.

Ben Jones, tax expert at Eversheds, said that state aid rules will be an attractive route to tackling certain tax structures.

He said: ‘The EU state aid rules have previously been applied with some success to tackle tax rules in EU member states that are considered to be anti-competitive. For example, Luxembourg has previously been required to change aspects of its tax system that have been found to violate EU state aid rules and, in September last year, the European Commission’s directorate-general for competition began an investigation concerning potentially unlawful state aid by Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands through favourable tax ruling systems.

‘The EU state aid rules will be an attractive route to tackle certain tax structures since these rules already exist, have wide application and have strong powers to force change upon offending states or to potentially recover illegal state aid. Given that the wider OECD project to tackle corporate tax planning by multinationals is likely to take time to deliver results, it is not surprising that EU members are currently looking to the state aid rules.’