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Starbucks Accused of Illegal Tax Deal With the Netherlands

The European union accused Starbucks of sending profits through Dutch subsidiaries, creating unfair advantages throughout the 28-nation bloc.

The European union accused Starbucks of sending profits through Dutch subsidiaries, creating unfair advantages throughout the 28-nation bloc. The case focuses on a tax ruling by Dutch authorities that may have allowed the coffee company to lower its taxes by transferring revenues away from the Netherlands, where it had its European headquarters until recently. The European Commission said in a letter, 'At this stage the Commission has concerns that the tax ruling for Starbucks Manufacturing EMEA BV is providing that company with a selective advantage, because there are doubts whether it is in line with a market-based assessment of transfer pricing.' Any decision against the Netherlands could force the government to recover large amounts of back taxes from Starbucks.

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