Tax Breaks for Apple and Starbucks Investigated by E.U.

European Union officials have been pushing some countries to plug corporate tax loopholes for years to help bolster government coffers in an era of shrinking public budgets and weak economic growth.Now they are adopting a more forceful approach, announcing on Wednesday an investigation into how low-tax nations like Ireland have helped large multinationals like Apple and Starbucks reduce their tax bills by billions of dollars. see:European Union is examining overseas tax breaks for Apple, Starbucks and Fiat [Reuters]
The European Commission raised pressure on Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg over their corporate tax practices, saying it was investigating deals the countries have cut with Apple, Starbucks and Fiat.The Commission, the executive body of the European Union, is looking at whether the countries’ tax treatment of multinationals that help attract investment and jobs that otherwise might go to where the companies’ customers are based represent unfair state aid. Probe Targets U.S. Firms: European Regulators to Examine Ways Apple, Others Shrink Their Tax Bills
European regulators opened formal investigations Wednesday into the tax practices used by Apple Inc., Starbucks Corp. and Fiat, in a move that tax experts said could deter major corporations from using certain tax structures to shrink their tax bills.The probes represent a new front in European efforts to focus on tax avoidance by big companies in Europe in the wake of the region’s financial crisis.

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