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Oxfam applauds European Parliament for championing corporate tax transparency
The European Parliament has voted in favor of legislation - as part of the vote on the Shareholder's Rights Directive - obliging large companies across all sectors to publicly declare their earnings and taxes in the locations they operate – a move Oxfam welcomes.
Natalia Alonso, Oxfam International’s Deputy Director for Advocacy and Campaigns, said: “By requiring multinational corporations to publicly reveal profits and taxes where they actually do business, the Parliament is truly championing tax transparency. Holding companies accountable for their fair share of taxes owed to the right places sets the foundation for building a fairer tax system that will benefit citizens in Europe and beyond.
“With this vote of confidence for corporate tax transparency, the European Parliament is signalling to EU governments that it’s time to put an end to the privileges granted to large companies, which cost billions to citizens in Europe and developing countries.
“It is now up to the Member States to deliver and through this restore European citizens’ trust.”
- The European Parliament has repeatedly called for greater transparency around the activities of multinational corporations, for instance in the 2014 Tax Report (rapporteur Kaili) that was adopted in March this year and the report on the Fight against Tax Fraud, Tax Evasion and Tax Havens (rapporteur Kleva-Kekuš) of May 2013.
- The vote comes as the European Commission presented a plan on June 17 2015 for a fair corporate tax system in the European Union and a 3-month public consultation on the benefits of country-by-country reporting. The latter is part of the impact assessment launched in March as part of the European Commission’s package to promote greater tax transparency in Europe.
- Conservative Parliamentarians (EPP) decided to abstain on this part of the vote on the Shareholder’s Rights Directive.
- This vote represents the position of the European Parliament on a legislative proposal initiated by the Commission in April 2014. The Council has adopted its position on this legislation in April 2015 as part of the trilogue towards the final compromise negotiations. The Council’s position does not mention public country-by-country reporting and no country so far has expressed willingness to defend this provision.
- Oxfam International released in March 2015 a briefing note “Pulling the Plug – How to stop corporate tax dodging in Europe and beyond” that explores some of the solutions for fighting corporate tax avoidance in the European Union and explains why it is important for the EU to adopt them as soon as possible.