As recalled in the Questionnaire for the national rapporteurs to this topic, from 2013 onwards the European Commission initiated an EU-wide review of more than 1,000 tax rulings, which already resulted in a number of decisions ordering Member States to recover large sums of what it deemed unlawfully granted state aid. These decisions are now the subject of review by the EU Courts.
The debates will therefore primarily focus on the different national regimes and practices concerning tax rulings and agreements between tax authorities and taxable entities in search of advance legal certainty, mainly when several national legislations and tax authorities are concerned. In such situations, transfer pricing methods, rules governing profit allocation, anti-avoidance and anti-abuse provisions, correction mechanisms to avoid double taxation or double non-taxation become crucial issues.
Furthermore, effective implementation of recovery decisions requires appropriate national procedures and timely enforcement by the national courts. International agreements involving the protection of property or of foreign investments may also interfere with EU and national regimes and ought to be considered as part of the background of the problem.
Above all, one should not forget that a correct and objective application of the relevant and sometimes conflicting rules on the different – EU, national and international – levels is a precondition for ensuring that non distorted competition in the internal market will prevail.
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