Commission proposals on tax avoidance must not undermine European competitiveness

28-Jan-2016 @ 1:0

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New proposals from the European Commission to tackle tax avoidance must ensure that businesses pay their fair share of tax, whilst not hindering Europe's competitiveness, say Conservative MEPs.

The European Commission has come forward with a series of proposals, based on OECD recommendations, to ensure that taxes are paid where a company's activity is pursued and its profits are made.

These include new rules on disclosure, requiring multinational companies to provide annually - and for each tax jurisdiction - information on revenue, tax and assets, with penalties for failure to disclose.

There are also proposals for a new directive to prevent tax avoidance, including new rules on limiting the amount of interest the taxpayer is entitled to deduct each year, and exit taxation to prevent assets being moved to a lower jurisdiction without paying appropriate tax.

Leader of the Conservative delegation and taxation spokesman Ashley Fox commented: "Corporate tax avoidance is a very real problem, and therefore we welcome moves to increase transparency.

"It is right that there should be better exchange of information on assets, tax and profits, whilst ensuring that sensitive information is adequately protected.

"However we will continue to resist attempts by EU officials to harmonise tax policies on an EU-wide basis, something that would seriously undermine the sovereignty of national governments.

The South West and Gibraltar MEP added: "Globally there is a battle raging for jobs and growth. The EU must ensure that its proposals do not act as a deterrent to international investment and employment.

"Therefore it is important to ensure that rules to prevent tax avoidance are agreed on an international level, in line with OECD and G20 recommendations. Any move by the European Commission to unilaterally go beyond these recommendations would seriously undermine the competitiveness of EU countries"

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