3M and the Taxpayer Will Pay - Businesses

3M and the Taxpayer Will Pay – Businesses

3M undertakes to pay 571 million euros, or even more, to erase the consequences of the pollution generated by the company. But this amount is deductible for corporation tax…

“We did not want to repeat the mistakes of the Verhofstadt government”, welcomed Bart De Wever the day after the agreement concluded between the N-VA Zuhal DemirMinister of the Environment, and the American chemical group 3M. This agreement is in fact of the open type: the amounts provided for can be revised upwards if necessary. Quite the opposite of what happened in his time when the creation of the Asbestos Fund had granted de facto immunity to contributing companies, could not help recalling the boss of the N-VA. The agreement concluded provides in particular for the allocation of 250 million euros to the most urgent clean-up work in the immediate vicinity of the plant as well as the payment to the Flemish government of compensation of 100 million euros which the latter may use at its way. Another indemnity of the same amount will be paid to Lantis, prime contractor for the Oosterweelproject who must finally complete the Antwerp ring.

The polluter will pay. But he will not be alone. The taxpayer too. The sums paid by the American giant are indeed deductible from corporate tax. And if by chance, they tip the company’s accounts into the red, the losses thus incurred can be carried over to the following years. Is this quite normal? “The costs incurred to acquire or retain income are deductible and an agreement concluded with the authorities on this subject can also be taken into account”, comments Michel Maus, professor of tax law at the VUB and associate lawyer at Bloom Law. Corporation tax being federal, we thus arrive at the paradox of see the taxpayers of Brussels and Wallonia co-finance an agreement concluded by the Flemish governmentincluding the compensation that he will receive!

“We did not want to repeat the mistakes of the Verhofstadt government”, welcomed Bart De Wever the day after the agreement concluded between the N-VA Zuhal Demir, Minister of the Environment, and the American chemical group 3M. This agreement is in fact of the open type: the amounts provided for can be revised upwards if necessary. Quite the opposite of what happened in his time when the creation of the Asbestos Fund had granted de facto immunity to contributing companies, could not help recalling the boss of the N-VA. The agreement concluded provides in particular for the allocation of 250 million euros to the most urgent clean-up work in the immediate vicinity of the plant as well as the payment to the Flemish government of compensation of 100 million euros which the latter may use at its way. Another compensation of the same amount will be paid to Lantis, project manager of the Oosterweelproject which must finally complete the Antwerp ring. The polluter will pay. But he will not be alone. The taxpayer too. The sums paid by the American giant are indeed deductible from corporate tax. And if by chance, they tip the company’s accounts into the red, the losses thus incurred can be carried over to the following years. Is this quite normal? “The costs incurred to acquire or retain income are deductible and an agreement concluded with the authorities on this subject can also be taken into account”, comments Michel Maus, professor of tax law at the VUB and associate lawyer at Bloom Law. Company tax being federal, we thus arrive at the paradox of seeing the taxpayers of Brussels and Wallonia co-finance an agreement concluded by the Flemish government, including the indemnity that the latter will receive!

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