After the LuxLeaks scandal, it can't be business as usual, stress S&D Euro MPs
The European Parliament today gave the green light to a set of measures aimed at fighting the 'aggressive tax planning' which drains billions of euros from member states' national budgets each year in tax losses.
S&D Euro MP and co-author of the European Parliament's resolution Anneliese Dodds said:
"This report shows the determination of both the European Parliament and the people of Europe to see real legislative change to stop tax dodging by big multinational firms. By introducing laws at EU level, we can prevent companies jumping across borders to reduce their tax bills to almost zero.
"The LuxLeaks scandal last year showed how much these corporations have been getting away with dodging tax that could have been used to build schools and hospitals or pay down national debt. By offering greater protection for whistle-blowers and forcing companies to make public exactly how much profit they make and where they make it, we can see tax justice begin in earnest."
S&D Group spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs, Elisa Ferreira MEP added:
"The recommendations for tax justice that are made in this report are totally in line with the report of the special committee on tax rulings (TAXE) that was approved by a large majority in this Parliament a month ago.
"These two reports together will constitute our roadmap for how we will maintain the pressure on the European Commission and the Council of the EU to change European tax policy. These recommendations must now be translated into concrete legislative proposals within the timetables set and approved quickly in order to ensure that multinationals pay their fair share of taxes in the EU."
Among the measures proposed to improve transparency, co-ordination and convergence in tax policy are:
- Mandatory and public country-by-country reporting to increase transparency
- A Common Corporate Consolidated Tax Base (CCCTB) – a single set of rules for cross-border companies to calculate their taxable profits in the EU
- Protection for whistle-blowers
- A common and cogent definition of 'tax havens'
- Counter-measures for companies who make use of tax havens
- Automatic exchange of information on tax rulings (the 'sweetheart deals' for multinationals offered by governments) to be extended to all tax rulings and made public to a certain extent
- Mandatory notification of new tax measures
- Tighter controlled foreign corporation (CFC) rules to limit the use of offshore low-tax territories
- Publication of registers of beneficial ownership to counter money laundering
- A stronger mandate and improved transparency for the Council's Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation)