Lecture: Tax Justice in the EU: Apple, Starbucks & States

Oxfam Novib, the Dutch affiliate of Oxfam, estimates that tax avoidance by multinational corporations costs poor countries $100 billion every year. The Netherlands has been ranked the third “worst” tax haven in the world for corporations, behind only Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, in a report published by Oxfam Novib last December. For the corporations, this means the Netherlands is among the best tax havens in the world, as it allows large multinationals to pay incredibly low tax rates. An example of this is Starbucks, which in October 2015 was ordered to pay €30 million by the European Commission in overdue taxes that were avoided with the help of illegal Dutch state aid. An even worse case is Apple, which in August 2016 was found by the EU’s competition commissioner to have received illegal state aid from Ireland, and was ordered to pay €13 billion in unpaid taxes. These cases and others have led to the proposal by the European Commission to have a single set of rules to calculate companies’ taxable profits in the EU, and it will close off avenues for tax avoidance by multinational corporations in the EU.

On February 7th, Urios is organizing a lecture with three different experts to discuss these issues, which will be followed by a Q&A and a discussion!

First, Professor Ronald Russo from Tilburg University will discuss international agreements regarding corporate taxes and the legal considerations involved in the state aid cases by the European Commission, particularly the Apple and Starbucks cases.

Next, Laurens Berentsen, an editor from the Financieel Dagblad will speak about illegal state aid cases from a political and economic perspective, as well as the proposal by the European Commission for harmonization of taxing corporate profits in the EU.

Lastly, Esmé Berkhout from Oxfam Novib, who constructed the above-mentioned report, will speak about the relationship between tax avoidance by multinationals and poverty, and why the Netherlands was ranked as the third worst tax haven in the world.

When? 7 February 2017. Doors open at 17:00, the event will start at 17:15 and is expected to end at 19:15.
Where? Room 0.19 in Janskerkhof 2-3, Utrecht.
Costs? Free!
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