(11 April 2018) On Monday the 9th of April a conference “for a fair, modern and efficient corporate taxation in Europe” was held by the ETUC's research institute and the S&D.
With the upcoming EU elections next year, it was an opportunity to discuss how to fix outdated tax rules that only benefit big business and the wealthy at the expense of workers and smaller companies.
MEPs, tax justice campaigners, trade unionists, academics as well as tax commissioner Moscovici shared views on European taxation reforms including a common corporate consolidated tax base, so-called ccctb. European Public Service Union’s (EPSU) policy officer Nadja SALSON spoke at a panel on drivers of tax competition and the race to the bottom of corporate tax. Overlooked key drivers include wage stagnation, privatisation of public services and public capital and a lucrative tax avoidance industry. Tax competition was equated to a tax war which the Brexit is likely to exacerbate. What is at stake is the future of progressive tax on profits and top income. EPSUs General Secretary Jan Willem GOUDRIAAN at the closing plenary called for more resources in tax administrations, dissuasive sanctions against tax dodgers, removing the licence of tax avoidance facilitators and public transparency of corporate accounts to know where profits are made. He urged the EU Commission to soon take a decision on the 2-year state aid probe of McDonald's following the trade union report. Eurodad pressed further for public country-by-country reporting by business, failing which more tax scandals will break out thanks to the courage of whistleblowers and investigative journalists.
All panellists agreed except for the OECD official that much more can be done, including a fully-fledged ccctb with a minimum corporate tax rate of at least 25% as part of the solutions. The conference brought to light that Europe’s future relies on fair taxation systems to finance public services citizens and business need and redistribute wealth and income. Eurodad Tove Ryding called for a coalition of the willing to fix the broken tax system.