Malta and eleven other EU countries reject move to expose companies’ tax avoidance

epa08026182 A photo taken with a fisheye lens shows the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, 26 November 2019. President-Elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on 27 November 2019 will present her team of Commissioners-designate and the new Commission's programme to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will then discuss and decide (by simple majority) whether to elect the College of Commissioners or not. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET

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Twelve EU countries, including Malta, have blocked a proposed new rule that would have forced multinational companies to reveal how much profit they make and how little tax they pay in each of the 28 member states.

The proposed directive was designed to shine a light on how some of the world’s biggest companies  avoid paying an estimated $500bn a year in taxes by shifting their profits from higher-tax countries such as the UK, France and Germany to zero-tax or low-tax jurisdictions including Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta.

Other countries that have set themselves up as low-tax environments helping to shelter the profits of the world’s biggest companies were also among those that voted against. They include Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Croatia.

Sweden also voted against the proposed rule, but because its government feared that the directive might water down their higher standards on transparency. France, Spain and the Netherlands were among those voting for the proposals. Germany abstained.

The vote came more than three years after the European commission promised to expose multinational corporations’ tax avoidance measures following the Panama Papers revelations. The proposal would have made country-by-country reporting mandatory for companies with an annual turnover of more than €750m.


Via The Guardian

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