The anti-avoidance tax package is a good first step in the right direction, say S&Ds

Tax transparency: EU member states lack ambition yet again, tax evasion by multinational companies, Ecofin Council, country-by-country reporting of the taxes and revenues of multinational companies, Emmanuel Maurel, Elisa Ferreira,

S&D Euro MPs today welcome measures proposed by the European Commission to combat aggressive tax planning by multinationals. They urged EU governments to deliver strong solutions and live up to the European citizens expectations.

Elisa Ferreira, S&D Group spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs said:

"This package of proposals is a good step in the right direction in the effort to crack down on tax evasion and avoidance, even if some important elements are still missing, such as a common definition of tax havens and of 'permanent establishment', which is essential to determine where a multinational should pay its taxes.

"We now call on the EU Council not to water down these proposals, which are a minimum. They must now go even further. We urge them to approve the requests of the European Parliament to impose the obligation on multinationals to report and make public the profits gained and the taxes paid in all the countries where they operate (CBCR), and the establishment of a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB). These measures are essential to end the present aggressive tax planning by multinationals."

Peter Simon, S&Ds spokesperson on the special tax committee stressed:

"This is another very important step towards fair corporate taxation. The pressure of the European Parliament and the public is now paying off: the decade-long practice of turning a blind eye has been broken.

"In the medium term, public country-by-country reporting, as demanded by the S&D Group for years, has to be introduced.

"EU member states now have to take action. The European Parliament will not accept the Council dragging its feet. Fair taxation of multinational companies is not a luxury but a question of justice."

Hugues Bayet, the S&D spokesperson on the anti-tax avoidance rules added:

"The good news is that the Commission's proposals are in line with the recommendations of the OECD and the European Parliament's special tax committee.

"It is regretful however that some of the proposals lack ambition. We are calling for a binding definition of the establishment of a multinational. We want to make sure that taxes are paid where profits are generated.

"A multinational company that does not pay tax in the country where it is economically active undermines the social model of our societies: paying taxes to fund health, social security, education, aid for employment, security, etc. to the benefit of all.

"We are also concerned that the issues of intellectual property and the patent box system of tax avoidance are not addressed in this directive. We also believe that it would be useful if the 28 member states agree on a common and compelling definition of a tax haven."

Emmanuel Maurel, the S&D Group negotiator on the automatic exchange of information between tax administrations in the framework of country-by-country reporting for multinationals, stated:

"Country-by-country reporting of multinationals is an important first step in the fight against aggressive tax planning and tax evasion.

"However, with a threshold of 750 million euros, by the admission of the Commission themselves, 80-90% of multinationals will be exempt from this transparency measure. In addition, the automatic exchange between European states on these multinational tax information is a step in the right direction.  But the various scandals, Luxleaks, Swissleaks etc. have shown the need for a democratic debate on these topics.

"It will only be possible for the corporate taxation system to be under democratic control once the company reports are made public. This is already the case for banks in Europe and I am convinced that other companies will not have difficulty doing so. Fiscal transparency is not an obstacle to competitiveness; I believe, on the contrary, that promoting social responsibility contributes to companies' competitiveness.

"As negotiator for the Socialists and Democrats, I will work to strengthen the Commission's text on these issues. The European Parliament must send a very clear message in favour of complete tax transparency."