S&D Euro MPs welcomed progress made by EU finance ministers in the fight against tax fraud and corporate tax evasion during their meeting today in Brussels.  

S&D Group spokesperson on the anti-tax avoidance directive, Olle Ludvigsson, said:

“The agreement on the anti-tax avoidance directive will help close the loopholes between the different tax systems in the EU and with third countries. 

“Hybrid mismatch arrangements are frequently used by the largest companies with the sole purpose of reducing corporate taxation. We have seen it in both the Apple case and in the McDonald’s case. It is about time that these corporations pay their fair share of taxes.

“These types of arrangements are widespread and result in a substantial erosion of the taxable bases of corporate taxpayers in the EU. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to lay down rules against this kind of tax avoidance. 

“It is vital that the rules agreed by EU ministers tackle a more far-reaching range of complex structures in order to narrow the scope of tax avoidance. It will ensure that multinationals having cross-border activities in the EU or outside the EU pay due taxes in Europe. Taxes must be paid where profits are generated. However, the exemptions granted to the financial sector are not justified.” 

S&D Group spokesperson on economic and monetary affairs, Pervenche Berès, added: 
“The Socialists and Democrats have been campaigning in favour of a European blacklist of tax havens for years. The blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions is necessary to change business behaviour and to discourage multinational companies using loopholes leading to tax fraud.
“The list of criteria proposed by the Commission were a good basis, but it seems the Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation) and the Council have weakened these criteria. It is evident that zero corporate tax rate policy is harmful and should be eliminated and that this criterion should be added explicitly upon the next revision.”
“Nevertheless, we believe the list should not be used to restrict the scope of the public country-by-country reporting.

“The list will be a more powerful tool if countries are sanctioned for continuing to do business with non-cooperative jurisdictions. The EU must take the lead to promote good tax governance worldwide.”

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