“Commission’s proposal on tax transparency is a good start, but more is needed” say S&Ds

“Commission’s proposal on tax transparency is a good start, but more is needed” say S&Ds

S&D MEPs called on the European Commission to propose further measures to stop tax fiddling, during a debate with European commissioner Pierre Moscovici in a joint meeting of the economic and monetary affairs committee and the new special tax committee yesterday in Brussels. Commissioner Moscovici expressed his commitment to a thorough impact assessment prior to introducing country-by-country reporting, as well as to relaunching a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB).

S&D Group spokesperson on the tax special committee (TAXE) Peter Simon MEP stated:

“The central register of information regarding tax rulings for companies must be made public. Moreover, coherent and effective sanction mechanisms have to be introduced if member states do not comply with their obligations and refuse to automatically exchange all the required information on tax rulings. Transparency alone will not be sufficient – illegitimate practices have to become illegal.”

Elisa Ferreira MEP, the S&D Group's spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs and the European Parliament’s negotiator on the TAXE report, added:

"It is not possible to ask for huge sacrifices from small and medium-sized enterprises and citizens because the states don't have enough resources while at the same time allowing the big corporations to pay nearly no taxes and get special treatment. This is not acceptable.

"The European Commission should also use the huge amount of information provided by the scoreboard of macroeconomic imbalances. In the majority of the EU countries, the average attractiveness for foreign direct investment has fallen – by 35% on average in 2013 – but in Luxembourg it showed a positive result of 216%.

"Just as the Commission pays attention to deviations in fiscal deficits and public debts, it should also use the investment data of the scoreboard. Otherwise, countries will start to compete by lowering taxes to attract companies and they will not be able to provide the minimum services which citizens expect from the state. We are in a situation of extreme political urgency."

S&D Euro MP Anneliese Dodds, who will draft the report on 'Bringing transparency, co-ordination and convergence to corporate tax policies in the Union', concluded:

“We need country-by-country reporting of profits for multinationals and call on the Commission to take decisive action. The inclusion of country-by-country reporting in the Shareholders' Rights Directive makes sense.

“We welcome the Commission's increased commitment to introducing a common, consolidated corporate tax base.

“However, we urge the Commission to also deliver proposals for a common European definition of tax havens and for the creation of a black list of firms that evade tax and those that advise them.”