AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government says it did nothing wrong when it struck a tax deal with Starbucks (SBUX) that the European Union Commission alleges is so favorable to the company it amounts to state aid.
The Commission issued a report Friday on its findings in an ongoing investigation into Starbucks' Dutch tax deal. The report describes how Starbucks funnels European profits to the Netherlands but pays little tax, using a strategy pre-approved by Dutch tax authorities. Starbucks had its European headquarters in the Netherlands in 2011 and 2012 but paid less than $1 million tax there in those years.
Dutch minister Eric Wiebes said in a response the agreement "fits completely within the international standards" and the Cabinet's strategy for "creating an attractive investment climate."
Starbucks has a month to respond.