Amazon has €250m ‘back taxes’ overturned in court

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Amazon has won a court battle over €250m (£215m) in taxes it had been ordered to pay Luxembourg.

The European Commission had ordered the tech giant to repay the funds as back taxes, alleging that Amazon had been given unfair special treatment.

But the EU’s General Court overturned that order, finding it had been given “no selective advantage”.

Amazon said the decision was “in line with our long-standing position that we followed all applicable laws”.

“We’re pleased that the court has made this clear, and we can continue to focus on delivering for our customers across Europe,” the company said in a statement.

The contentious order dates back to 2017, when the European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, had turned her attention to tech giants and their tax arrangements in some EU countries.

The European Commission had alleged that the tax deal amounted to state aid for the company – something which breaks the rules of the EU’s internal market.

Both Amazon and the country of Luxembourg went to court to have the decision overturned.

“None of the findings set out by the Commission in the contested decision are sufficient to demonstrate the existence of an advantage,” the court said in a statement.

“The contested decision must be annulled in its entirety.”

A much larger tax bill for a similar case with Apple in Ireland – involving €13bn (£11.6bn) – was also overturned last year. The Commission lodged an appeal in September.

It is not yet clear if the EU will appeal against the latest Amazon ruling.

In a statement, Margrethe Vestager said: “All companies should pay their fair share of tax.”

Agencies

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