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EU court to rule on legality of Belgian tax break, may affect Apple

Reuters  |  BRUSSELS 

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe's second-highest court will rule on Thursday whether a Belgian tax break which benefited some 35 large companies is illegal state aid, a judgment which could provide clues to other tax cases involving Apple, and

As part of its crackdown on tax avoidance, the three years ago ordered to recover some 700 million euros ($790 million) from the group, saying the companies' "excess profit" tax plan gave them an unfair advantage vis-a-vis smaller firms.

The scheme allowed the companies to claim deductions for economies of scale, reducing their corporate tax base by 50-90 percent.

Dutch industrial company and subsequently challenged the Commission's decision at the Luxembourg-based The largest beneficiaries were Wabco, Cellio, BP, BASF, and Belgacom.

Judges may also rule whether it qualifies as a scheme or are just individual tax rulings.

The tax avoidance drive has included orders to to recover some 13 billion euros from maker and to claw back up to 30 million euros from Fiat Chrysler, 250 million euros from and about 120 million euros from

The has to recover between 20-30 million euros from

All the major companies have challenged the EU rulings. At stake is whether the Commission is over-stretching its powers by using its to address tax fairness concerns.

The has criticised the cases against U.S. companies and notably in the ruling it has accused the EU of grabbing revenue intended for U.S. coffers.

The cases are T-131/16 v Commission and T-263/16 International v Commission.

($1 = 0.8857 euros)

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by David Evans)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 22:53 IST