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Estonia and Poland may be referred to the EU Court on tax ru

Other Member States answered to the inquiry of the EU Commission

09 June, 11:25
(ANSA) - BRUSSELS - The European Commission has issued two injunctions ordering Estonia and Poland to deliver within one month information requested on their tax rulings practice. Both countries have to-date refused to respond in full to previous information requests. Should any of the two fail to deliver the missing information within one month, the Commission may refer that Member State to the EU Court of Justice.

The EU Commission enquiry is aimed at clarifying allegations that tax rulings may constitute state aid and to allow the EU Commission to take an informed view of the practices of all Member States. With the exception of Estonia and Poland, all EU countries have cooperated and provided the required information in full. Tax rulings are comfort letters issued by tax authorities to an individual company on a specific tax matter. They are not as such a problem under EU state aid rules. However, if a tax ruling results in a Member State providing selective advantages to specific companies or groups of companies, this distorts competition in the Single Market in breach of EU state aid rules.

To-date, Estonia and Poland have failed to adequately respond to the request for information, arguing fiscal secrecy and the principle of proportionality. They have only submitted general information but refused to provide a specific and detailed overview of tax rulings issued from 2010 to 2013. However, the EU Commission is legally entitled to request any information it deems necessary for a state aid investigation, and Member States are under a legal obligation to respond. Confidential fiscal information remains adequately protected, as the EU Commission is itself bound by rules of confidentiality. (ANSA)
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