Barrister criticises ‘novel theories’ in EU state aid rulings

The European Commission’s competition directorate “invented and deployed” a number of “entirely novel theories” in challenging tax rulings under state aid law, according to a leading tax barrister.

Philip Baker, barrister at Field Court Tax Chambers and a visiting professor at the University of Oxford’s law faculty, was addressing a June 30 conference hosted by the University of Oxford’s Centre for Business Taxation …

Baker, who is a member of Ireland’s legal team in its challenge to the commission’s decision that two corporation tax opinions given to Apple amounted to illegal state aid, stressed that he was speaking entirely in a personal capacity …

The commission is applying EU state aid rules that have been in force for a long time, a commission spokeswoman told Tax Analysts in an emailed statement on July 6, adding that the commission indicated in 1998 that it would look into tax rulings if they conferred a selective advantage to specific companies. Read more:

My news story for Tax Analysts, July 7 (paywall)