More transparency and compulsory exchange of information on tax rulings - Parliament's Committee on Economic Affairs in favour of a robust EU framework
National governments must exchange information on tax rulings which they issue to companies among each other and to a central data base at the European Commission. This is Parliament's position which will be adopted this evening by a large majority of Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs. "We stand for more transparency and fair corporate taxation in the European Union, while Member States want to water down the rules", said Markus Ferber, EPP Group MEP and Parliament's Rapporteur on tax rulings.
To reduce their tax burdens, certain companies take advantage of the complexity of tax laws and of the lack of collaboration between Member States by shifting their incomes artificially to other countries. "Through aggressive tax planning and abusive tax practices, tax authorities lose billions of tax revenue. This is why we need an EU-wide, systematic and more binding approach to the exchange of information on tax rulings", Ferber explained.
"National authorities often lack information on how other countries' tax regimes affect companies. Tax collectors should be obliged to exchange information on tax rulings. We call on extending the scope of the new law to all tax rulings, not only those with a cross-border dimension, as per the Member States' and the European Commission's plan", said the EPP Group MEP.
Tax rulings can have an impact on competition. This is why the European Commission must be able to use the data to identify tax dumping. Are Member States trying to hide something? Markus Ferber MEP
"The exchange of information must happen immediately after the ruling is issued. There is no plausible reason for keeping the information hidden in a drawer", Ferber said about national governments' plans to inform only once every six months.
Ferber also strongly criticised Member States' intention to prevent the Commission from accessing the data on tax rulings. "Tax rulings can have an impact on competition. This is why the European Commission must be able to use the data to identify tax dumping. The observation of EU state rules must be verified. Are Member States trying to hide something?" Ferber asked.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 217 Members from 27 Member States