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The European Union's expected rulings that Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler got illegal tax breaks might be just the start of a crackdown, with bigger battles against Apple and Amazon on the way.

European Commission rules that tax deals they negotiated with two European governments were illegal

The European Union said it will require Starbucks Corp. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to pay tens of millions of euros in back taxes after ruling that tax deals they negotiated with two European governments were illegal, in an unprecedented decision by regulators that risks blowing open thousands of corporate tax structures across Europe.

Forbes Magazine

“Don’t assume things work like in the U.S. and don’t take anything for granted.” - Larry Harding

That clear-eyed bit of advice came from a CEO at a consumer goods company, in response to a survey we conducted on the topic of global expansion. The survey, done in partnership with CFO Research, asked senior executives at small- and mid-sized businesses about the opportunities and challenges of opening overseas offices. Nearly 90% of the respondents were already operating overseas (the rest were considering expansion), and nearly two-thirds (65%) expected to be increasing their global footprint within a year of taking the survey.