EU Commission extends in-depth investigation into the Netherlands’ tax treatment of Inter IKEA

The European Commission has extended the scope of an ongoing in-depth investigation into Inter IKEA’s tax treatment in the Netherlands, which was initially opened on 18 December 2017.

The ongoing Commission investigation concerns two tax rulings in favour of Inter Ikea’s Dutch subsidiary, Inter IKEA Systems, granted by the Netherlands in 2006 and in 2011. In relation to the 2011 tax ruling, the 2017 Commission opening decision provisionally concluded that the transfer price of the IKEA intellectual property (IP) rights may be too high, enabling Inter IKEA Systems to pay less tax and giving them an unfair advantage over other companies, in breach of EU State aid rules.

Following the opening of the in-depth investigation, some of the facts and assumptions underlying the 2011 tax ruling have changed. In particular, Inter IKEA Systems has started to amortise the IKEA IP rights.

The Dutch tax authorities confirmed the deduction of such amortisation in their annual tax assessments of Inter IKEA Systems’ tax returns. In today’s decision, the Commission extends the scope of its investigation to the annual tax assessments in order to examine whether the deduction of the amortisation of the IKEA IP rights provided an advantage to Inter IKEA Systems, in breach of EU State aid rules.

The non-confidential versions of the decisions will be made available under the case number SA.46470 in the State Aid Register on the Commission’s competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

Arianna Podesta – Giulia Astuti – Maria Tsoni –

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