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Stop blocking tax transparency, say S&Ds to EU governments


23 Oct 2019


Tomorrow, the European Parliament will adopt a resolution calling on member states to break the deadlock on public country-by country reporting within the Council, and finally start negotiations with the Parliament. The Socialists and Democrats urge EU governments to heed their citizens’ call for corporate accountability and tax justice.
S&D Group negotiator for the public CBCR file, Evelyn Regner MEP, stated:
“Luxleaks, Panama and Paradise Papers have clearly demonstrated that tax avoidance and evasion flourish in secrecy. It is high time to switch on the light. Citizens have a right to know where multinationals do business and make profits, who is paying their taxes and who is free-riding. Public country-by-country reporting will make it much harder for multinationals like Amazon, Google and Starbucks to shop around for the lowest tax rate, or evade corporate accountability by setting up complex structures. When three quarters of Europeans expect the EU to crack down on tax crimes, EU governments cannot simply duck out of their responsibility. Our message to the Council is clear: Stop blocking corporate and tax transparency!”
S&D Group negotiator for the public CBCR file, Iban García del Blanco, stated:
“After three years and ambitious reforms adopted by the European Parliament, some member states are still stalling negotiations. Every day of non-action by member states means one more day for multinationals to get away with paying zero taxes. Corporate transparency is key to fighting tax evasion and profit shifting, but also to ensuring a level playing field between multinationals and SMEs. For us Socialists and Democrats, fair and transparent taxation in the EU is a matter of social justice: the sustainability of our European social model and the trust of citizens in our democracies are at stake. With public country-by-country reporting, it becomes evident who is on the side of tax justice and who is protecting the special interests of big corporations. The European Parliament had its say in favour of corporate responsibility and now it is time for the Council to prove whether it stands on the side of European citizens.”
Note for the editor:
In April 2016, the European Commission proposed legislation on corporate tax transparency, commonly referred to as public country-by-country reporting (CBCR) for multinationals, which would require large multinational companies to publish an annual public report disclosing where they do business, make profits and how much they pay in taxes and other payments, for each country where they operate. This measure would complement the already existing legislation on automatic exchange of tax information.
In July 2017, the European Parliament adopted its mandate for the inter-institutional negotiations, so-called trilogues. Ever since, the Council is blocked by a number of countries opposing the proposal and has thus not yet reached a negotiation position.