Combatting corporate tax avoidance: Commission presents a first Tax Transparency Package

The European Commission today presented a package of tax transparency measures as part of its ambitious agenda to tackle corporate tax avoidance and harmful tax competition in the EU. This marks the start of a new era of transparency. Today’s package includes a legislative proposal introducing the automatic exchange of information between Member States on their tax rulings and a communication outlining a number of other initiatives to advance the tax transparency agenda in the EU. Corporate tax avoidance is thought to deprive EU Member States’ public budgets of billions of euros a year. It also undermines fair burden-sharing among tax-payers and fair competition between businesses. Companies rely on the complexity of tax rules and the lack of cooperation between Member States to shift profits and minimise their taxes. Therefore, boosting transparency and cooperation is vital in the battle against aggressive tax planning and abusive tax practices. Today’s Tax Transparency Package aims to ensure that Member States are equipped with the information they need to protect their tax bases and effectively target companies that try to escape paying their fair share of taxes.