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Case T-131/16 RENV Belgium v Commission · Annotation by Julie Leroy

Annotation of the Judgment of the General Court (Second Chamber, Extended Composition) of 20 September 2023 in Case T-131/16 RENV Belgium v Commission

Julie Leroy


Keywords: Excess Profit Rulings, Existence of an aid scheme, Selectivity analysis, Tax rulings

The Excess Profit Ruling-saga goes all the way back to 2016, when the European Commission opened its formal investigation into the alleged aid scheme. More than seven years and several judgments later, the General Court concludes that the Commission correctly decided that the Belgian State granted unlawful (and incompatible) State aid through the Excess Profit Ruling-scheme. In the annotated judgment, the General Court focuses extensively on the selectivity analysis. The core of its analysis lies in the argument that the Advance Ruling Commission, when granting an Excess Profit Ruling, did not apply the rules on profit adjustments contained in the corporate income tax system (more precisely Article 185(2)(1)(b) of the 1992 Code on Income Taxation). This deviation from the reference system led, according to the Commission and the General Court, to a selective advantage. After discussing the judgment, an outlook on the continuation of the saga is given, focusing both on the appeal against the annotated judgment and on the faith of the individual investigations into Excess Profit Rulings.

Dr. Julie Leroy – Tax advisor at UNIZO and Research Fellow at Hasselt University (Law, Tax & Business Unit).


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