Make them say what they pay - European Council must finally act for tax transparency of multinational companies

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Euro & Finance
The S&D Group today demanded that the European Council explains its failure to prepare a position on laws that will ensure corporate tax transparency for multinational companies in Europe. The public Country-by-Country Reporting (pCBCR) Directive has been blocked for over two years by several member states who protect the interests of big multinational tax evaders. The obligation to make public their profits, tax to pay, paid tax and number of employees for each country in which they operate, will hold the biggest companies in the world and all governments to account. It will highlight where Starbucks, Monsanto & Co make their profit and pay their taxes and whether they shift their profits to countries with very low tax rates.
 
The Parliament adopted ambitious reforms last year, which would ensure that all companies with a turnover above 750 million euros declare where they make their profits and where they pay their taxes in a disaggregated way for all countries where they have a subsidiary or branch. However, the Council has still done nothing, meaning the final negotiations on the law cannot start. Corporate tax transparency is a key element in the fight against aggressive tax planning by multinational companies.
 
S&D Group negotiators for the so-called public CBCR file, Evelyn Regner and Hugues Bayet, stated:
 
“EU citizens have the right to know where multinationals are paying their tax and whether they are artificially shifting profits to other jurisdictions to avoid it. As LuxLeaks or the Panama Papers have highlighted, we need much greater transparency on what measures big multinationals are taking to avoid taxation. This is a matter of fairness and creating a level playing field between big multinationals and SMEs. It is time to act and bring these negotiations to an end. We are demanding that the Council explains why this has taken so long and seek guarantees that these laws will be finalised as soon as possible.
 
“When a scandal such as LuxLeaks or the Panama Papers breaks, national governments are the first to act outraged by the revelations. When they actually have a chance to do something about it, they suddenly go very quiet. For us, this is a big surprise, as aggressive tax planning results in the loss of €160 to €190 billion a year in government revenues in Europe.”