S&D MEP Hugues Bayet: The fight against tax evasion by multinationals is fundamental in regaining the confidence of European citizens
Following a proposal by Belgian S&D MEP Hugues Bayet, the European Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee today gave the green light on three key measures against tax evasion by multinational companies.
Tax avoidance by large multinationals represents between 100 and 240 billion euros per year of lost revenue for the member states, according to estimates from the Organisation for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD).
S&D MEP, Hugues Bayet, author of the parliamentary report, declared:
"This is a colossal loss of profits for the member states and the citizens."
To remedy this, the report recommends three key measures:
1. To ensure that companies pay their taxes where they are making profits. In order to achieve this, MEPs propose a clear and binding definition of the conditions that attest to the establishment of a multinational in a country.
2. Write a common definition of tax havens. It is incomprehensible that Panama has been able to disappear from the black list of tax havens by the OECD.
3. Unify and clarify the legislation on patents. Today, too many multinationals are abusing tax incentives related to patents to artificially reduce the amount of their profits and thus taxes.
Hugues Bayet underlined the following:
"This additional exit tax revenue could be used to finance the fight against unemployment, improve access to education, the development of health systems and the strengthening of security; which would be especially beneficial at a time when governments are asked to cut budgets to reduce public deficits.
"It is inconceivable to incessantly ask for more and more efforts from workers, pensioners, and SMEs ... whilst at the same time the wealthy and multinationals abscond from their fair contributions to tax.
"Therefore, the S&D Group urges the European member states to be ambitious in the fight against tax evasion by large multinationals. European citizens are disgusted by the LuxLeaks and Panama Papers revelations and scandals. Today, the fight against tax evasion has become an urgency and a priority. This is a major challenge, not only to regain the confidence of our citizens but also for the future of the European project."