European Commission decides Belgian excess profit tax rulings are illegal state aid

Granted to at least 35 multinationals, unpaid taxes will have to be repaid

Tax Update


On 11 January 2016, the European Commission decided that the tax adjustments granted under the Belgian tax scheme introduced in 2004 by Article 185 §2 of the Corporate Income Tax Code on excess profits within multinational companies, constitute illegal state aid.

The Commission is of the opinion that the tax scheme derogates from normal practice under Belgian company tax rules and the so-called "arm's length principle". This decision closes the formal procedure launched by the European Commission on 3 February 2015.

According to the decision, 35 multinational companies are involved. The European Commission orders the recovery of around 700 million EUR from these multinational companies.

The Belgian State and the companies involved might lodge appeals against the decision before the European General Court.

If you have any questions regarding the excess profit tax scheme or state aid, please contact the authors.