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Euro probe headed for Amazon's tax back door

Report says Luxembourgian dealings to be scrutinised

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A 2003 Luxembourgeois tax ruling used by Amazon.com to structure its European affairs looks likely to become the subject of a European Commission probe, according to the Financial Times.

The Pink 'Un's paywalled report suggests Luxembourg's decision to limit the amount of Amazonian profits it would tax may have constituted an unfair subsidy.

Once it received Luxembourg's assurances about local tax arrangements, Amazon went on to set up its European operating entities in the Grand Duchy.

The FT's story suggests that Brussels feels Luxembourg may have been rather too kind to Amazon and that the cozy-looking arrangement between the two is worthy of deeper investigation.

The net is clearly closing on multinational companies: the G20 meeting to be held in Australia during November has placed multinational tax avoidance front and centre on its agenda.

A G20 finance ministers' meeting in September also stated the intention for member nations to adopt a common financial reporting standard, the better to enable cross-border investigations of tax affairs. ®

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