EU aims to drag corporate tax havens into open amid Panama furor


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EU aims to drag corporate tax havens into open amid Panama furor


European Union regulators are looking to force corporate tax avoidance via offshore havens into the open, with fresh proposals due next week made more urgent by the Panama Papers revelations.
The European Commission on Tuesday will consider how to require large companies to make public what they pay in tax in each of the 28 EU countries and possibly outside the bloc as well.
“There is an important connection between our continuing work on tax transparency and tax havens that we are building into the proposal,” EU Financial Services Commissioner Jonathan Hill said in a statement on Saturday.
The proposal would cover multinational companies with revenue of at least 750 million euros ($855 million). The commission, which polices the European single market, figures it would catch companies that account for 90 percent of EU corporate revenue.
The country-by-country transparency plan was first floated after revelations in 2014 that Luxembourg, at the heart of the EU, had struck sweetheart tax deals with multinational companies.
The commission has also used its antitrust powers to go after companies that benefited from custom-made tax breaks. In October it ordered the Netherlands to claim back as much as 30 million euros in unpaid taxes from Starbucks Corp., and Luxembourg to collect a similar amount from a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV financing unit.
Tuesday’s proposal will require approval by EU governments and the European Parliament. It will be crafted as accounting legislation which can be passed by a supermajority of the 28 governments, not as a tax measure requiring unanimity.
Hill said the proposal, which is still under discussion internally, will be “carefully thought through but ambitious.”

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