In light of recent revelations about the scope of CumEx tax fraud in Europe, and in view of an upcoming coordination meeting tomorrow between the finance ministers of France and Germany, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann calls on EU member states to make swift progress on EU taxation files in view of next year’s election.
S&D Group president Udo Bullmann stated:
“Tax fraud is a crime against society. Europe cannot, and must not, tolerate this. We insist that the CumEx case of unprecedented scope must be the last wake-up call to leaders in the Council where numerous files aiming at fostering tax justice are blocked due to the destructive unanimity rule.
“Our taxation rulebooks – at European and national level alike – are unfit for the 21st century. The revelations of ‘corrective’, the investigative journalism consortium behind last week’s CumEx revelations, show with what ease greedy crooks can exploit loopholes while tax authorities look the other way. The fact that companies in digital services pay 14 points less tax on average than traditional businesses is another measure of the urgency with which innovation in the regulatory field is needed. Finance ministers must make tangible progress on key taxation files before the European elections.”
The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament urge EU finance ministers to give priority to proposals to foster greater tax justice in Europe:
Digital Service Tax
“We urge Council to adopt the Commission’s proposal for a Digital Services Tax (DST) by the end of the year. If properly implemented, this measure will prove an effective short-term remedy to the current injustice that is the abnormally low levels of taxation in the digital services sector. In parallel, we call on member states to work towards an agreement on the proposal on Significant Digital Presence that would be a cornerstone of a fair and permanent regime for the taxation of the digital economy.”
Financial Transaction Tax
“Like digital businesses, the financial sector, too, must do more to live up to its societal responsibilities. To this end, member states participating in the enhanced cooperation procedure need to agree on the adoption of a financial transaction tax, something that Parliament has been requesting since 2010. The hardship caused by the financial crisis of 2008 has clearly shown that harmful speculation needs to be curbed and that the financial industry must contribute to the immense cost of the crisis.”
EU Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base
“We need to see member states speeding up negotiations on the introduction of an EU Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). We also call for a common EU minimum effective corporate tax rate. Multinational companies should not be free to choose where and how much tax they pay. They must start to compete with local businesses on a level playing field.”
“Increasing transparency as regards matters of cross-border taxation is also crucial to ensure that taxes are paid where profits are made. Therefore, we urge Council to put an end to the current deadlock on the Commission’s 2016 proposal on public country-by-country reporting by big multinationals and start negotiating with Parliament to reach an agreement that forces big players to publish crucial information, as Parliament requested.“