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On taxation, sunlight is the best disinfectant, not EU harmonisation

18 March 2015

On taxation, sunlight is the best disinfectant, not EU harmonisation

Responding to European Commission proposals for a Tax Transparency Package published today, European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) MEP Morten Messerschmidt said that greater transparency is required to ensure competition, but the latest announcement must not be a prelude to further efforts to harmonise taxation at the EU level.

Responding to European Commission proposals for a Tax Transparency Package published today, European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) MEP Morten Messerschmidt said that greater transparency is required to ensure competition, but the latest announcement must not be a prelude to further efforts to harmonise taxation at the EU level.

Mr Messerschmidt is the ECR spokesman on the parliament’s recently constituted special committee on tax rulings, and he drafted the parliament’s annual competition report – adopted by MEPs last week – which contained a number of paragraphs on the commission’s investigation into Luxembourg and others over their tax arrangements.

Today’s commission announcement will see greater information sharing on cross-border tax rulings, with the aim of highlighting those companies that use the complexity of rules to aggressively tax plan.

Responding to the announcement, Mr Messerschmidt said:

“When it comes to aggressive tax planning we believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant.

“Improving transparency is one area where the EU, G7 and G20 can make a useful contribution. However, there is a strong drive by Mr Juncker and many MEPs to exploit the Luxleaks saga and fulfil their fantasies of EU tax harmonisation. The ECR group will stand firm against any efforts to harmonise taxation. It is a competence that must remain at the Member State level and any efforts towards harmonisation would sound the death knell for Europe’s competitiveness.

“It is only human nature that individuals and businesses will seek to minimise their tax bills, but we should shine a light on those multinationals who unfairly distort competition by aggressively dodging anything close to their fair share.”

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