Luxembourg doesn't want to claim €250 million from Amazon in back taxes

Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesAmazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

Luxembourg doesn’t want to claim back €250 million ($US295 million; £221 million) from Amazon in back taxes.

The European Commission ruled on October 4 that the small EU nation, which charges less corporation tax than most other European countries, had given illegal state aid to Amazon.

But Luxembourg challenged the decision on Friday, saying it disagreed with the EU regulator’s findings.

“Luxembourg believes that the Commission has not established the existence of a selective advantage,” Luxembourg’s finance ministry said in a statement on its website. “Furthermore, Luxembourg does not share the Commission’s analysis with regard to transfer pricing.”

Amazon has around 1,500 staff in Luxembourg, according to Reuters. That makes it one of the biggest employers in the country, which is home to just 500,000 people.

Luxembourg also appealed against a 2015 ruling that ordered it to recover up to €30 million (£35 million; £26 million) back taxes from Fiat.

Luxembourg isn’t the first country to appeal a European Commission decision on back taxes. Last year Ireland said it didn’t want to claim back €13 billion ($US15 billion; £11.5 billion) from Apple. Ireland’s finance minister, Michael Noonan, said at the time he wanted to appeal the decision before the European courts.

Here is the full statement on Luxembourg finance ministry’s website:

The Luxembourg government has decided to appeal to the European Commission’s decision in the Amazon case.

Luxembourg believes that the Commission has not established the existence of a special advantage within the meaning of Article 107 TFEU. Furthermore, Luxembourg does not share the Commission’s analysis with regard to transfer pricing.

This appeal seeks to obtain legal certainty, and does not put into question Luxembourg’s strong commitment to tax transparency and the fight against harmful tax practices. Luxembourg fully adheres to the OECD / G20 BEPS project, which will modernise international tax rules and create a global level playing field.

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