Public country-by-country reporting: Conservatives attempt to weaken tax transparency in Europe

Country-by-county reporting: Liberals and Conservatives need to put citizens’ interests ahead of big business, corporate tax transparency, Evelyn Regner and Hugues Bayet,

Following ongoing negotiations on public country-by-country reporting, designed to increase corporate transparency in Europe, S&D Group negotiators for the file Evelyn Regner and Hugues Bayet said:

“We are disappointed by the behaviour of negotiators from the right in the talks on the directive for a public reporting obligation on profits and taxes of multinational companies on a country-by-country basis. Over the last months we have done all we can to create a system that would ensure genuine corporate tax transparency in Europe, without undermining the competiveness of our industries. Although the Conservatives claim in public to support this aim, behind closed doors they are doing all they can to undermine it by creating a secret-non reporting obligation for an unlimited time.  To report an average number of the required information after five, ten or even more years is useless.

“Under this proposal multinationals with a turnover of over 750 million Euros will have to make public information such as the number of employees they have and profits they make per country. This will enable citizens and civil society to follow the money and help ensure that taxes are paid where the profits are made. The LuxLeaks and Panama Papers scandals exposed the scale of corporate tax evasion in Europe and showed that something has to be done. We have the chance now to take meaningful action but are being blocked by many voices in the EPP & ECR Groups in the European Parliament. They act as protectionists for big multinationals. For the votes on Tuesday, we hope for support from some progressive EPP–members, who are genuinely in favour of fighting tax avoidance effectively.

“We are ready for an open confrontation with the right wing next Tuesday when we debate this in the Parliament in Strasbourg.”