Reacting to the recent conclusions on taxation from the EU economic and finance ministers, Pedro Marques MEP, S&D spokesperson on tax matters, said:
“We applaud Olaf Scholz’s efforts to step up the EU’s fight for tax justice. The Council today took on another important step in the fight against tax avoidance and evasion. From 2023 onwards, EU’s tax authorities will automatically exchange information on income earned by sellers on digital platforms.
“Today’s decision on administrative tax cooperation follows on the heels of Friday’s encouraging conclusions, which showed the willingness of EU governments to rapidly implement the results of an international agreement on digital taxation and a minimum effective tax rate. However, we urge governments to take the lead and even if no international solution can be found, to move ahead with EU-wide rules. We urgently need to put a floor on tax competition, also between EU countries, and the first step is to put in place an EU-wide 18% minimum effective tax rate.
“The Council’s decision to revise the rules for EU harmful tax practices and the EU list of tax havens is therefore on the right track. The removal of the notorious Cayman Islands from the EU’s tax-haven blacklist this October illustrated only too starkly that the current EU’s criteria for tax havens is broken. The most harmful tax havens like Switzerland, Hong Kong or Jersey cannot be left off the hook. Next week, the economic committee will vote on our proposals to revise the criteria to make sure they work. For us it is clear that the EU must lead by example and first put its own house in order.
“Going forward, digital taxation, a minimum effective tax rate, tax transparency and a credible tax havens list are key tools for ending the ongoing scandal of tax avoidance where giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook get away with paying barely any taxes. Now is the time to close the legal loopholes exploited by the super rich and big companies, to end the shopping around for the lowest tax rates and hiding fortunes in dodgy tax havens. By cracking down on tax abuse and tax crimes the public purse will have billions more euros to invest in a fair and sustainable recovery.”
Note to the editor:
The economic committee will vote on the 10 December on a resolution about harmful tax practices, that was drafted as the first report of the newly established tax matters (FISC) sub-committee. The next step will be for the resolution to be voted on in plenary.