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New tax proposal tackles tech giants but gives up on race to the bottom
At the meeting of the European Council in Tallinn today France, Germany, Italy and Spain called for an agreement on new measures to tax tech giants, like Google and Amazon. Currently, disparate tax laws allow large companies to pay disproportionately low effective tax rates in the EU.
Oxfam’s EU Policy Advisor on tax, Aurore Chardonnet, said:
“Multinationals have exploited tax loopholes and undermined our tax systems for decades. At last some EU countries have found the political will to move toward greater cooperation on taxing them more fairly.
“This initiative relaunches much-needed questions on who has the right to tax, which should be at the heart of tax reform. So far these questions have not been addressed. In particular developing countries are being left out of the conversation.
"We need to go further and prevent all companies from registering sales directly in tax havens, such as Uber in the Netherlands, rather than where the revenues are actually made.
"Tax dodging does not stop at the EU border. We need global action on ending the tax race to the bottom. Oxfam therefore calls on the four member states to bring their initiative into a global tax summit. “
- Oxfam campaigns for tax transparency because tax policies in Europe have effects in countries around the world, rich and poor alike. Companies must pay their fair share of tax so governments can provide essential services such as healthcare and education.
- On 15-16 September 2017 EU Finance Ministers met in Tallinn (Estonia) to discuss the corporate taxation challenges of the digital economy. Ahead of that meeting, France, Germany, Italy and Spain published a statement calling for further action to tax companies like Apple or Google, based on the turnover they make in the EU. That statement was issued after several tax scandals showing how little tax companies pay in the EU.
- Last year, the European Commission issued two proposals aiming at addressing tax base competition between member states called CCTB and CCCTB (Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base).
- In December 2016, Oxfam released the ‘Tax Battles’ report, which showed evidences of a growing corporate tax race to the bottom The report also exposes that four EU countries are among the world’s worst tax havens: The Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Cyprus.
Caroline Jacobsson: email@example.com / +32 498 76 06 07
For updates, follow @OxfamEU