Completing EMU / Taxation

EESC opinion: Completing EMU / Taxation

Key points:

The EESC proposes to:

Short-term (6 to 18 months):

  • Reduce and standardise the range of different taxes, extend tax bases, align tax rates more closely, and strengthen cooperation and information exchange mechanisms in order to combat fraud and evasion.
  • Create a "Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base" with a fair setting of parameters.
  • Respond to global developments at OECD and G20 level on base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). Tax should be captured where the economic substance is located.
  • Urgently eliminate practices used in the Member States to grant selected corporations special tax privileges.
  • Seek effective agreements in the euro area to extend the planned financial transaction tax beyond the eleven Member States which support it.
  • Involve citizens in combating the black economy, tax evasion and tax fraud by encouraging instruments such as service vouchers and forms of electronic payment that leave a trace.
  • Strengthen the Eurofisc platform as an embryonic EU agency acting as a VAT clearing house and tackling tax fraud, thus putting an end to "carousel fraud".
  • Strengthen the 2011 Mutual Assistance Directive.
  • Blacklist jurisdictions that act as tax havens, in disregard of good governance in tax matters and calls for common criteria to be established at EU level for identifying such jurisdictions.
  • The use and location of businesses in these territories should moreover be specifically mentioned in the Corporate Social Responsibility reports of companies quoted on stock exchanges.
  • Fully investigate any unfair tax agreements reached by MS and individual companies.
  • Set up a European body for tax simplification.

Medium-term (18 months to 5 years):

  • In the spirit of the "monetary snake" of the 1980s create a "tax snake" in the euro area consisting of effective minimum and maximum rates for corporate taxation, so as to progressively harmonise them.
  • Achieve specific fiscal capacity in the euro area, through income based taxes on financial transactions,  consumption of non-renewable energies, a temporary levy on balance of payments surpluses of more than 6% of GDP, emission of joint bonds and a share of seigniorage income from issuing currency.
  • Amend the current fiscal decision-making model in the euro area, bringing in a qualified majority system.