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Tax system for competition/growth

A favourable tax system for fair competition and growth

EESC opinion: Tax system for competition/growth

Key points:

The EESC

  • calls on the Member States to step up their efforts in combatting aggressive tax planning and tax avoidance;
  • recommends that the Commission and the Member States continue and step up negotiations in the framework of international institutions to develop effective rules for combating tax avoidance;
  • welcomes the Council decision approving the criteria proposed by the Commission for evaluating jurisdictions known to be tax havens;
  • calls on the Member States to avoid further promotions of tax competition by using numerous tax rulings that are not justified by the economic substance of the transactions;
  • believes that the harmonisation and simplification of tax rules should be a priority for the Member States and that the complete elimination of tax barriers should go hand in hand with these harmonisation efforts;
  • recommends that Member States shift the tax burden from labour to harmful financial or environmental practices, when carrying out tax reforms;
  • proposes to extend the common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) across the single market and even beyond;
  • calls for the formula for apportioning the taxable profit, as part of the CCCTB consolidation, to be based as far as possible on the principle of taxing profits where they are generated;
  • reiterates its proposal to introduce a "tax snake" along the lines of the "currency snake" which operated in the run-up to the introduction of the single currency;
  • feels that the introduction of qualified majority voting in the field of direct taxation could support better the efforts to harmonise the rules on establishing the tax base for the main taxes. Progress in advancing tax policies could be made more quickly, and this would benefit the internal market and generate significant growth potential, given that a harmonised system would significantly reduce compliance costs for companies and create a more predictable tax system in the EU.