Apple, Starbucks and Fiat SpA are among the companies that have come under the European Commission’s radar for some tax practices that saw them strike deals with Ireland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
The EU has announced it has began an investigation into how the multinationals get tax treated by the respective countries – seeking to find out if they benefited from unfair state aid.
“In the current context of tight public budgets, it is particularly important that large multinationals pay their fair share of taxes,” said Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy Joaquín Almunia.
In its defense, the finance unit of Italian automaker Fiat SpA – now part of the larger Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – has said it’s positive the investigation would show the deal made with Luxembourg to be actually clean.
“The company has no reason to believe that any favorable treatment was contemplated by the tax authorities in Luxembourg on issuing such tax ruling, because in fact no such treatment was ever received,” Fiat Finance and Trade said in a statement.
The unit declared itself surprised of the ongoing investigation from the EU, with the company – which has been working for Fiat SpA for 15 years, performing cash management and treasury activities – requesting Luxembourg a new tax ruling that would clarify certain financial activities.