AB InBev and Celio under pressure for Belgian tax deals

AB InBev
Alexandre Tziripouloff / Shutterstock.com

The European Union is opening new investigations into 39 companies that may have benefited from unfair tax advantages in Belgium. These include AB InBev, as well as retail chain Celio.


Belgian favourable tax rulings

New investigations opened by the European Commission have targeted Belgian tax deals: 39 multinationals are coming under fire for having allegedly received favourable tax rulings between 2005 and 2014, as a result of which, their tax burden was significantly reduced. 

According to the EU, they were awarded "excessive" tax exemptions, sometimes ranging from 50% to 90%, on their accounting profits. The companies in question include AB InBev, Atlas Copco Airpower, BASF Antwerpen and fashion retailer Celio International, according to the report by Bloomberg.


Big day for Apple, too 

Earlier this year, however, the European Court of Justice ruled that there was insufficient evidence to prove that companies enjoyed a preferential tax regime. At the time, the Commission lost some EUR 800 million in compensation claims, but now, Commissioner Margarethe Vestagher is once again trying to launch a separate investigation into each company.

Tuesday is also a big day for Apple, since a lawsuit opens in Luxembourg as part of which the iPhone manufacturer is hoping to reverse its fine of 13 billion euros, which was handed down by the European Commission in respect of tax agreements in Ireland. In 2016, Margrethe Vestager decided that the American electronics maker was avoiding taxes by recording European sales through an Irish company.