On Wednesday 11 June 2014 the Dutch State Secretary for Finance, Mr. Eric Wiebes, sent a letter to the Dutch House of Representatives to confirm that the European Commission has decided to start a formal investigation procedure into possible state support in an APA (Advanced Pricing Agreement) with Starbucks Manufacturing EMEA BV. The Netherlands works with so-called ‘Advanced Pricing Agreements’ (APA) and ‘Advanced Tax Rulings’ (ATR) providing companies certainty in advance on their future tax position.
These are procedures that the Netherlands has been working with successfully for many years already and that have a positive effect on its investment climate. At the opening of the formal investigation procedure the Commission confirmed that, based on extensive research, APA and ATR practices in the Netherlands are both solid and thorough. The formal investigation concentrates on one specific aspect of one specific case, Starbucks Manufacturing EMEA BV.
Of course the Netherlands will cooperate completely with this investigation. The State Secretary is confident that eventually the conclusion will be that there is no question of state support and that the agreement with Starbucks Manufacturing EMEA BV fully complies with the OECD guidelines for transfer pricing.
Source: Dutch Ministry of Finance