The European Court of Justice has decided the Belgian excess profits regime constitutes an aid scheme and has referred the case back to the General Court. The current dispute between the Belgian government, the impacted Belgian companies and the Commission has been ongoing for many years.
The case relates to a provision under Belgian tax law that exempted certain income, which is considered as excess profits, i.e. profits that are - on an arm’s length basis - not considered to relate to the Belgian activities.
This decision represents the start of another stage in a legal procedural journey. The final decision as to whether the Belgian excess profit rulings actually constitute unlawful State aid may still take a number of years.
For previous EU Direct Tax Group alerts, see here.