Umicore considers that the selectivity test is clearly not met in this case, since the tax treaty at issue is merely a specific application of a general regime available to all subjects in the same situation and the tax authority has no discretion when it compromises. The transaction contract would normally cover the amount that a lawyer would cost to disconnect it – usually between $300.00 and $500.00 plus VAT. This is usually sufficient for a simple closure, but not for detailed consultation or negotiations. If issues remain to be resolved and the amount offered is insufficient, counsel should try not only to increase compensation, but also the employer contribution for additional legal advice. Obviously, if your lawyer negotiates a higher settlement, then this is usually something your employer expects you to pay for yourself. In a letter of 21 October 2003, the Commission invited the Belgian authorities to provide additional documents explaining the position of the Belgian tax authorities on the agreement with Umicore. Finally, the analysis of the legislation shows that there is no provision establishing the obligation for the Belgian tax authorities to provide an explicit legal basis in the agreements in question. Umicore`s argument is similar to that of Belgium with regard to the legality and validity of VAT agreements between the authorities and taxpayers. The interested party points out that these agreements can only apply to substantive issues such as the evidence of transport for intra-community deliveries (and the resulting basis). In this context, Mr.
Umicore recalls that the practice of concluding such agreements is widespread, including at the level of the services of the tax supervisory authority. Mr. Umicore explained that the interpretation of the concept of state aid as a lock-in in a tax agreement such as that concluded with the Special Tax Inspectorate would inevitably lead the Commission to overstep its powers by assuming jurisdiction over the collection of indirect taxes that it does not have and to encroach on the prerogatives of national courts which are the only ones competent to rule on tax disputes. The transaction contract is a legal contract between you and your employer – you both have to comply. Your employer may want you to have the confidentiality of the agreement. It is therefore necessary to check whether the transaction between the tax supervisory authority and Umicore meets the above conditions. With regard to the specificity test, Belgium points out that, contrary to what the Commission put forward in its decision to open the procedure, the mere circumstance is not sufficient to argue that the specificity test is met.