POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - INSTITUTIONS

LuxLetters

Government refutes allegations



Is the tax administration circumventing the practice of rulings? The Ministry of Finance formally defends it.   (Photo: Christophe Olinger/archives)

Is the tax administration circumventing the practice of rulings? The Ministry of Finance formally defends it.  (Photo: Christophe Olinger/archives)

A new European media investigation is again targeting the practice of rulings in Luxembourg. The Ministry of finance has reacted by saying that the allegations are false and unfounded.

"LuxLetters"? A number of European newspapers, including Le Monde, have launched a new attack on Luxembourg by targeting the practice of rulings, or so-called "information letters".

According to the new investigation, Luxembourg is allegedly circumventing the problem of favourable tax rulings through tacit acquiescence. The government says it has made significant efforts since the LuxLeaks reevelations in 2014 to limit the practice of rulings that are particularly favourable to multinationals,

The Luxembourg finance ministry reacted immediately on Thursday evening, calling the allegations “false and entirely unsubstantiated” There is no such thing in Luxembourg as “an informal or oral confirmation by tax authorities of a taxpayer's tax position based on letters written either by taxpayers themselves or their tax advisors,” a statement says.

"No value"

“The notion of informal letters tacitly approved through silence, the existence of which the authors try to prove through the absence of written rulings, is the exact opposite of legal certainty and would thus be of absolutely no value to a tax advisor or their client,” the finance ministry explained.

The government also explains that, in accordance with action 5 of the BEPS project and under the EU DAC 3 directive, Luxembourg exchanges rulings with all tax administrations of EU Member States as well as with tax administration of third countries. Since 2016, around 11,500 rulings were exchanged with other European and non-European tax administrations.

In 2020, only 44 rulings were established with businesses, a decrease of 90% since 2015.