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Nike's Dutch tax status investigated by EU Commission

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(Reuters) - The has opened an in-depth investigation into the tax treatment of Inc in the Netherlands, saying this may have given the U.S. maker an illegal advantage.

The investigation, announced on Thursday, follows other probes by the EU into tax schemes in Belgium, Gibraltar, Luxembourg, and the it says allow companies to set up structures to reduce their taxes unfairly.

Beneficiaries of such schemes have included Amazon, Apple, and

The Commission said in a statement that Dutch authorities had issued five tax rulings from 2006 to 2015, two of which are still in force, endorsing a method to calculate the royalty to two entities based in the

The EU executive, which oversees competition policy in the 28-member European Union, said that at this stage it was concerned that the royalty payments endorsed by the rulings "may not reflect economic reality".

"Member states should not allow companies to set up complex structures that unduly reduce their taxable profits and give them an unfair advantage over competitors," EU said in a statement.

The Commission would investigate the tax treatment of Nike in the Netherlands, to assess whether it is in line with EU State aid rules.

"At the same time, I welcome the actions taken by the to reform their corporate taxation rules and to help ensure that companies will operate on a level playing field in the EU," Vestager said.

The Commission is also conducting an in-depth investigation into Dutch tax rulings in favour of and an investigation into a tax scheme for multinationals in Britain.

(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by and Jane Merriman)

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

First Published: Thu, January 10 2019. 17:09 IST