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Proposal to Introduce Public Reporting Requirements For the Largest Companies Operating in the EU

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Proposal to Introduce Public Reporting Requirements For the Largest Companies Operating in the EU

Proposal to Introduce Public Reporting Requirements For the Largest Companies Operating in the EU
April 13
10:48 2016

The European Commission has presented a proposal which leads the way towards greater corporate tax transparency by introducing public reporting requirements for the largest companies operating in the EU. The plans will build on the Commission’s work to tackle corporate tax avoidance in Europe, estimated to cost EU countries €50-70 billion a year in lost tax revenues.

Supplementing other proposals to introduce sharing of information between tax authorities, it would require multinationals operating in the EU with global revenues exceeding €750 million a year to publish key information on where they make their profits and where they pay their tax in the EU on a country-by-country basis. The same rules would apply to non-European multinationals doing business in Europe. In addition, companies would have to publish an aggregate figure for total taxes paid outside the EU.

This proposal is a simple, proportionate way to increase large multinationals’ accountability on tax matters without damaging their competitiveness. It will apply to thousands of large firms operating in the EU, without affecting small and medium-sized companies.

The proposal also provides for stronger transparency requirements for companies’ activities in countries which do not observe international standards for good governance in the area of taxation. The Commission will build on its External Tax Strategy with the aim of establishing the first common EU list of such tax jurisdictions as rapidly as possible.

EuropeanCommissionJonathan Hill, Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, says: “This is a carefully thought through but ambitious proposal for more transparency on tax. While our proposal on CBCR is not of course focused principally on the response to the Panama papers, there is an important connection between our continuing work on tax transparency and tax havens that we are building into the proposal.

Building on and complementing the recent Commission initiatives against tax avoidance (IP/16/159), this mandatory public country-by-country reporting will enable citizens to scrutinise the tax behaviour of multinationals. This will, in turn, encourage companies to pay tax where they make their profit.

This reporting will also support efforts to gain a better insight into Member States’ tax systems and help identify existing loopholes and mismatches, thereby shedding more light on the causes and consequences of corporate tax avoidance.

This proposal for a Directive has now been submitted to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU and the Commission hopes that this will be swiftly adopted in the co-decision process. Once adopted, the new Directive would have to be transposed into national legislation by all EU Member States, within one year after the entry in force.

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