Mr Zourek stressed that overcoming transnational taxation challenges such as tax avoidance by large multinationals should happen in the context of a common EU approach and relevant European harmonisation options and respect the provisions of the EU treaties. In particular, he reiterated the Commission’s intention to move forward with its ambitious agenda and go beyond the long expected Base erosion and profit sharing (BEPS) plan of the OECD, which will is planned to be published after the summer break.
During the meeting some business organisations expressed fears and pessimism with regards to certain Commission-proposed measures in the field of tax transparency and tax justice. The most sensitive subject matter discussed related to the newly published pan-EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions: a list which unfortunately represents a mere compilation of national lists and is done in parallel to the lists established by the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes and its Forum on Harmful Tax Practices. Some member states expressed concerns regarding this list, arguing that it contains several mistakes and may moreover lead to significant diplomatic problems with the countries exposed as non-cooperative on the list. In this context, regrettably, the majority of member states remains opposed to a common blacklist with common criteria. They are now invited to send accurate and updated information to the Commission. They are also called upon to take part in a special meeting with 42 identified non-cooperation jurisdictions and the Commission on 24 July for a further discussion.
During the meeting, stakeholders also had the occasion to express their opinion on the work priorities of the platform: an increase in tax transparency, the creation of a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) and a better arbitration and coordination of tax audits in Europe. A number of members, including CESI, expressed the wish to keep taxation problems in developing countries on the agenda, add taxation challenges for small businesses and dedicate more attention to the estimation of tax avoidance, its consequences for tax administrations and the use of the General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) at national level.
Regarding the working methods of the platform, the Commission declared that there will be meetings of different working sub-groups as well as further plenary-style meetings bringing together all member states and stakeholders.
Two more meetings of the platform are scheduled for this year, with the next one being scheduled for 24 September. Information about the work and functioning of the platform will be updated regularly on the Commission’s webpage. CESI’s overall priorities with regards to tax justice and tax transparency and the role of public administrations in it can be accessed in its latest resolution on the topic.
For all further information, contact:
Policy Advisor EU sectoral social dialogue
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