Public Country-by-Country-reporting: last chance for Council to act on tax transparency

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Ahead of a decisive technical meeting, S&D Euro MPs are calling on the EU Council to unblock the negotiations on corporate tax transparency. They demand that member states start discussions with the European Parliament, which adopted a strong position on public Country-by-Country Reporting (pCBCR) by big multinationals in July 2017.
 
The pCBCR Directive aims at enhancing transparency and public scrutiny on corporate income tax and at fostering corporate responsibility by imposing disclosure requirements on certain companies. We Socialists and Democrats strongly believe that European citizens and taxpayers have the right to know whether multinationals pay their taxes, or if they are shifting their profits to other jurisdictions and where.
 
S&D Group negotiator for the public CBCR file, Evelyn Regner MEP, stated:
 
“The Council’s silence on the public CBCR file is deafening. After two years and ambitious reforms adopted by the Parliament last year, EU finance ministers have done nothing more than stall the negotiations. It is unacceptable that, in the aftermath of LuxLeaks, the Panama and Paradise papers, some member states still protect the interests of big multinationals who are tax evading.
 
“This is the last chance for finance ministers to act on tax transparency. If they fail to do so now, the conservatives and far right forces, such as the FPÖ/ENF during the Austrian Presidency, will block the file. European taxpayers deserve to know who is paying their taxes and who is free-riding in our single market.
 
S&D Group negotiator for the public CBCR file, Hugues Bayet MEP, stated:
 
“It is crucial that tomorrow’s meeting brings progress on this file. We need an ambitious public CBCR. It is a matter of social justice. If finance ministers decide to break the negotiations, multinationals will continue to pay zero taxes. The latter will further contribute to strengthening the gap between Europe and its citizens.
 
“For us Socialists and Democrats, fair and transparent taxation in the EU is a priority. We believe that ensuring tax transparency is the key to fighting tax avoidance, tax evasion, and profit shifting. It is also a matter a fairness and of creating a level playing field between multinationals and SMEs.”