Wednesday 12 May 2021 2:22 pm

Amazon wins €250m in EU back tax battle

In a fight over back taxes, Amazon will not have to pay €250m to the city of Luxembourg, Europe’s second-highest court heard today.

The General Court said that the online retail giant had not received a selective advantage.

“The Commission did not prove to the requisite legal standard that there was an undue reduction of the tax burden of a European subsidiary of the Amazon group,” the judge said.

In its efforts to tackle corporate tax avoidance, the European Commission ordered Amazon EU and Amazon Europe Holding Technologies to pay back the sum in 2017.

Amazon welcomed the ruling and said in a statement that it was “in line with our long-standing position that we followed all applicable laws and that Amazon received no special treatment.”

“We’re pleased that the Court has made this clear, and we can continue to focus on delivering for our customers across Europe.”

At the time, executive vice president of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, spearheaded the EU’s claim that Amazon had unfairly profited from low tax conditions in Luxembourg since 2003, where its European headquarters is based.

The tax conditions meant that nearly three-quarters of Amazon’s profits in the EU were not taxed, Vestager said.

The competition chief said today that she will examine the ruling before deciding whether to appeal to the European Court of Justice.

“We will carefully study the judgment and reflect on possible next steps,” Vestager said in a statement.