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More transparency needed to end sweetheart tax deals

March 18, 2015 1:18 PM

The European Commission has today unveiled plans that would oblige national governments in the EU to exchange information on cross-border tax rulings, in a bid to end sweetheart tax deals with multinational corporations.

Under the proposals, EU countries would be required to automatically share basic information on their cross-border tax rulings with each other every three months. Other EU governments could then ask for more detailed information on a particular ruling if they were concerned it could lower their tax receipts.

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder welcomed the proposals but called for them to go further by making information on tax rulings public.

She commented:

"Improving transparency is urgently needed to put an end to sweetheart tax deals between governments and multinational companies.

"We must ensure that companies across Europe pay their dues and do not steal a competitive advantage over small businesses.

"However, mandatory exchange of information between national governments is not enough.

"To prevent a race to the bottom, tax rulings must be brought out into the open where they can be subject to proper public scrutiny."

More information on today's Commission proposals can be found here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-15-4610_en.htm