17:08 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Headquarters of German chemical company BASF

    European Commission Demands Chemicals Firm BASF Pay $217Mln to Belgium

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    The European Commission announced that Belgium had granted tax advantages that are at odds with the Commission's rules to at least 35 multinational companies, and ordered the country to recover 700 million euros in unpaid tax.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The European Commission is demanding that the largest chemical producer in the world, BASF, pay 200 million euros ($217 million) in unpaid taxes to Belgium, Belgian media reported Tuesday.

    On Monday, the European Commission announced that Belgium had granted tax advantages that are at odds with the Commission's rules to at least 35 multinational companies, and ordered the country to recover 700 million euros in unpaid tax. The Commission’s investigation revealed that Belgian so-called "express profit" tax scheme, which enabled multinational companies to pay lower taxes, was operating in breach of EU rules.

    The Belgian L’Echo newspaper said that British American Tobacco, BP, the Swedish industrial company Atlas Copco, and AB InBev brewing company would also be affected by the decision.

    The newspaper added that the country’s finance minister, Johan Van Overtveldt, has been given two months to submit a plan for recovering the 700 million euros, as instructed by the European Commission.

    Belgium is one among several countries accused of applying illegal tax breaks to certain companies. In October 2015, the European Commission announced that Luxembourg and the Netherlands had illegal tax deals with Italian automaker Fiat and the coffee chain Starbucks, respectively.

    Apple in Ireland, and Amazon and McDonald’s in Luxembourg are also under investigation.

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