International Tax Review (ITR) breaks down the developments that led to the conviction of former PwC employees Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, who exposed more than 300 multinational enterprises benefiting from sweetheart tax deals with the Luxembourg authorities to avoid taxes in Europe.
Former PwC employee Antoine Deltour discovers preferential tax rulings between multinationals and the Luxembourg authorities while copying documents from PwC.
March – August 2011
Journalist Perrin contacts Deltour.
A French current affairs channel airs the Cash Investigation television show entitled "Tax havens: the little secrets of the big companies". The programme is based on evidence from Deltour’s files. PwC files a complaint.
Hundreds of tax agreements arranged between Luxembourg authorities and multinationals are published by several international media outlets, including the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
Luxembourg authorities charge Deltour for theft, violating trade secrets and secrecy laws.
Luxembourg authorities charge Deltour’s PwC colleague Raphaël Halet for exposing the second set of documents used in the LuxLeaks.
The European Parliament launches the Special Committee on Tax Rulings (TAXE committee) to investigate tax rulings and aggressive tax planning in the EU.
The European Commission releases a tax transparency package, proposing transparency measures to combat tax avoidance, including the automatic exchange of tax rulings between EU member states.
Luxembourg authorities charge Perrin for his involvement in the LuxLeaks.
TAXE committee releases a report, recommending measures to make corporate tax fairer and more transparent in the EU.
April 26 2016
The LuxLeaks trial starts in Luxembourg’s Cite Judiciaire.
April 27 2016
The second hearing of the trial includes a testimony from the police commissioner in charge of the investigation, Deltour’s statement and three defendant statements
April 28 2016
The third hearing of the trial hears involves three more defendant statements.
April 29 2016
The fourth hearing of the trial involves statements from the Luxembourg authorities and Halet.
May 3 2016
During the fifth hearing, Deltour and Perrin are questioned.
May 4 2016
The sixth hearing of the trial allows Deltour and Halet argue in favour of their status as whistleblowers.
May 10 2016
The seventh hearing of the trial involves further evidence from Deltour’s lawyers.
May 11 2016
The eighth and final hearing of the LuxLeaks trial includes Deltour’s final statement.
June 29 2016
Judge Marc Thill finds Deltour and Halet guilty of theft, violating trade secrets and secrecy laws. Deltour is given a 12-month suspended prison sentence with a €1,500 (US$1665) fine. Halet is given a nine-month suspended prison sentence with a €1,000 fine. Journalist Eduardo Perrin is acquitted.
March 15 2017
Luxembourg’s Cite Judiciaire upheld an earlier judgment against Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet, but reduced their punishments to a six-month suspended jail sequence and a €1,500 fine for Deltour and a €1,000 fine for Halet. Journalist Edouard Perrin, who helped break the story, walked free after his original acquittal was confirmed.
The above article was first published on www.internationaltaxreview.com on 15 March 2017 and has been republished with the approval of the Publisher.