Procedure : 2014/2144(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0040/2015

Texts tabled :

A8-0040/2015

Debates :

PV 25/03/2015 - 18
CRE 25/03/2015 - 18

Votes :

PV 25/03/2015 - 20.9
CRE 25/03/2015 - 20.9

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2015)0089

REPORT     
PDF 226kWORD 128k
4 March 2015
PE 541.536v02-00 A8-0040/2015

on the Annual Tax Report

(2014/2144(INI))

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

Rapporteur: Eva Kaili

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on the Annual Tax Report

(2014/2144(INI))

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU), to Articles 26, 110-115 and 120 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), and to Article 208 of the Lisbon Treaty,

–       having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Directive implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of financial transaction tax (COM(2013)0071),

–       having regard to its resolution of 3 July 2013 on the proposal for a Council directive implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of financial transaction tax(1),

–       having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) (COM(2011)0121),

–       having regard to its resolution of 19 April 2012 on the proposal for a Council directive on a CCCTB(2),

–       having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation (COM(2013)0348),

–       having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2011/96/EC on the common system of taxation applicable in the case of parent companies and subsidiaries of different Member States (COM(2013)0814),

–       having regard to the Commission proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 February 2013 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing (2013/0025(COD)),

–       having regard to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations of February 2012(3) on international standards on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation,

–       having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Directive amending Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax as regards a standard VAT return (COM(2013)0721),

–       having regard to the Commission Communication to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee on the future of VAT: Towards a simpler, more robust and efficient VAT system tailored to the single market (COM(2011)0851),

–       having regard to the Commission Communication on Double Taxation in the Single Market (COM(2011)0712),

–       having regard to the Commission Communication on an Action Plan to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion (COM(2012)0722),

–       having regard to the Commission Communication on concrete ways to reinforce the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion including in relation to third countries (COM(2012)0351),

–       having regard to the Commission Recommendation on aggressive tax planning (COM(2012)8806),

–       having regard to the Commission Recommendation regarding measures intended to encourage third countries to apply minimum standards of good governance in tax matters (COM(2012)8805),

–       having regard to its resolution of 19 April 2012 on the call for concrete ways to combat tax fraud and tax evasion(4),

–       having regard to the report of 10 February 2012 by Richard Murphy FCA on ‘Closing the European Tax Gap’,

–       having regard to its resolution of 8 March 2011 on cooperating with developing countries on promoting good governance in tax matters(5),

–       having regard to the 2012 update report of 23 October 2014 to the Study to Quantify and Analyse the VAT Gap in the EU-27 Member States,

–       having regard to its resolution of 21 May 2013 on Fight against Tax Fraud, Tax Evasion and Tax Havens(6),

–       having regard to the Council resolution of 1 December 1997 on a code of conduct for business taxation and to the report to the Council of the Code of Conduct on Business Taxation Group of 20 June 2014,

–       having regard to the OECD report ‘Addressing Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)’ (2013), the OECD Action Plan on BEPS (2013), and the OECD Report to G20 Development Working Group on the impact of BEPS in Low Income Countries (2014)(7) and the deliverables on 7 key actions of 16 September 2014,

–       having regard to the EU 2020 Strategy (COM(2010)2020),

–       having regard to the EESC opinion of 15-16 October 2014 on the Communication ‘Taking stock of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (CESE 3600/2014 - SC/039),

–       having regard to the Communiqué following the Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the G20 which took place in Moscow on 15-16 February 2013,

–       having regard to the Communiqué issued following the G20 meeting of Heads of State and Government in Brisbane of 15-16 November 2014,

–       having regard to the ECOFIN Council conclusions of 8 July 2014(8),

–       having regard to the Commission Annual Growth Survey for 2014 (COM(2013)0800),

–       having regard to the Conclusions of the European Councils of 22 May and 19-20 December 2013, and of 20-21 March 2014,

–       having regard to the European Commission’s Taxation papers No 43 on Financial activities taxation(9), No 44(10) and 45(11) on corporate taxation, and No 48 on Tax reforms in EU Member States(12),

–       having regard to the ECOFIN’s decision to close the tax loophole for corporate groups(13),

–       having regard to the ECOFIN’s decision to extend information exchange between tax authorities(14),

–       having regard to the European Commission’s report ‘Taxation trends in the European Union’ of 2014(15),

–       having regard to the European Commission’s country-specific recommendations 2014(16),

–       having regard to the European Commission’s High-level Expert Group final report on Taxation of the Digital Economy(17),

–       having regard to the European Commission’s consultations on Taxation: Reinforcing the Single Market for citizens(18),

–       having regard to its resolution of 25 February 2014 on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: Employment and Social Aspects in the Annual Growth Survey 2014(19),

–       having regard to its resolution of 22 October 2014 on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2014 priorities(20),

–       having regard to its resolution of 5 February 2014 on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies(21),

–       having regard to the hearing of Commissioner-designate for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union, Pierre Moscovici, of 2 October 2014,

–       having regard to the statement of 6 November 2014 by the Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, on tax state aid investigations,

–       having regard to the working programme of the Italian Presidency of the Council,

–       having regard to the Commission communication of 26 November 2014 on ‘An Investment Plan for Europe’ (COM(2014)0903),

–       having regard to the Accounting Standards on taxation, namely IAS 12,

–       having regard to the publication of the so-called ‘LuxLeaks’ documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists,

–       having regard to the letter from the German, French and Italian Ministers of Finance to Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, requesting legislation to deal with tax avoidance and aggressive planning against base erosion and profit shifting,

–       having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–       having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A8-0040/2015),

A.     whereas an estimated EUR 1 trillion of potential tax revenue is lost every year in the EU due to tax fraud and tax avoidance(22); whereas this loss is a major risk to the efficiency and fairness of the EU tax systems, as it raises the tax burden on all bona fide citizens and companies;

B.     whereas the loss of such tax revenue means that there is less public money available for investment, which in turn means that less additional private investment can be stimulated, at a time when the Commission’s stated focus is on jobs, growth and investment;

C.     whereas tax evasion(23) comprises illegal arrangements where liability to tax is hidden or ignored; whereas tax fraud(24) is a form of deliberate evasion of tax which is also generally punishable under criminal law, while, on the other hand, tax avoidance(25) is the legal but improper utilisation of the tax regime to reduce or avoid tax liabilities, and aggressive tax planning(26) consists in taking advantage of the technicalities of a tax system, or of mismatches between two or more tax systems, for the purpose of reducing tax liability;

D.     whereas the tax gap(27) is commonly understood as the difference between uncollected due tax and effectively collected tax; whereas the tax gap is due to tax fraud, tax evasion, tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning;

E.     whereas subsidiarity applies to legislation on taxation;

F.     whereas the key priorities of international tax policies are now focusing on developing a comprehensive strategy in the fight against tax evasion and avoidance and setting up a global standard for administrative cooperation;

G.     whereas the publication of the so-called ‘LuxLeaks’ documents by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists calls for a thorough and independent investigation of Member States’ tax rulings practices, and their compliance with EU state aid control and adherence to the principles of the Single Market;

H.     whereas although it has been widely recognised that a well-balanced, growth-oriented tax system is crucial for generating sustainable growth, sufficient concrete action has not yet been undertaken;

I.      whereas many businesses, in particular multinationals, commonly structure their global tax position in ways that allow profit shifting towards lower tax jurisdictions or seek to secure preferential treatment to reduce their tax payments or negotiate directly with tax authorities to obtain preferential treatment and lower their tax rates, with the connivance of the authorities and governments of many Member States;

J.      whereas citizens across the Union are looking to their political leaders to take action to end such practices and legislative loopholes, and whereas these and other dubious practices, such as tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning, must be made illegal and appropriate sanctions implemented;

K.     whereas the reduction of administrative burdens on businesses, particularly for SMEs and microenterprises, and the elimination of tax obstacles in cross-border activities have the potential to boost growth;

L.     whereas a tax policy that promotes inclusiveness, transparency and fairness, and encourages good governance, is an effective tool to promote sustainable growth, social justice and the reduction of economic inequality;

M.    whereas the aim of the Commission’s REFIT (Regulatory Fitness and Performance) programme is to simplify EU legislation and reduce the number of rules, and thus also the cost of regulation, thereby creating a clear, simpler and more stable legislative framework for SMEs; whereas other such initiatives are to be encouraged;

N.     whereas there is a general need to simplify the taxation systems, enabling a reduction in costs for public administrations, citizens and companies, and the prevention of tax evasion, tax avoidance or simply mistakes, and of double (non-)taxation or double tax exemptions;

O.     whereas the European Semester is a mechanism for coordinating economic and fiscal policies in the Member States (MSs);

General considerations

1.      Welcomes the agreement on the Automatic Exchange of Information and the prospects for a swift implementation thereof; calls in this regard for the definitive abolition of banking secrecy within the EU as of June 2015;

2.      Calls for tax agreements to be concluded also with third countries before 31 June 2015 and calls on the Commission to open negotiations with other third countries, including, but not limited to, Singapore;

3.      Calls for pilot projects on the automatic exchange of tax information with developing countries to be implemented for a transitional and non-reciprocal period when implementing the new global standard;

4.      Stresses that coordinated action at EU level, including in the context of the Code of Conduct on Business Taxation, is necessary to pursue the application of standards of transparency with regard to third countries; calls on the Commission and the MSs to incorporate these standards into future trade agreements;

5.      Insists on the general principle that taxes must be paid where public services are consumed; strongly condemns aggressive tax policies inducing taxpayers to shift their tax base out of countries in which they consume public services or benefit from a labour force which does so;

6.      Underlines the fact that the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion, tax avoidance, aggressive tax planning and tax havens, and an improved framework for the correct functioning of the Single Market via effective tax policy legislation, can be achieved better with a common approach; emphasises that a common approach of this kind should at best be taken at global and not just at European level;

7.      Draws attention to the need to keep tax competition between MSs fair and transparent, and thus conducive to growth and employment, whilst ensuring that the European banking sector can remain competitive in global terms, in order to prevent tax flight away from the EU;

8.      Condemns the secret agreements on tax exemptions signed between certain Member States and certain multinationals with the aim of attracting companies, to the detriment of other Member States’ tax systems and the proper functioning of free competition, the efficient allocation of resources and the internal market;

9.      Stresses that cross-border investments, and in particular private investments, are imperative for the EU economy; highlights that ‘business friendly’ and ‘investment friendly’ tax initiatives are imperative in order to deliver a sustainable tax system which contributes to growth; underlines that new forms of efficient and effective cooperation between the public and private sectors, inter alia in the fields of research and innovation, information and communication technologies, transport and renewable sources of energy, are required;

10.    Underlines that a low tax level is essential not only for the social welfare of families and households but also for competitiveness and new jobs; stresses the need for controlled and efficient public spending and stable public finances;

11.    Underlines the key role that SMEs play as drivers of growth and employment in the EU; stresses that EU tax policies should therefore be designed in a way which minimises obstacles to SMEs, and that further efforts are needed to eradicate tax obstacles and administrative burdens for SMEs;

12.    Highlights that increased tax policy harmonisation would ensure that Member States’ tax policies support wider EU policy objectives as set out in the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; emphasises that, at a time when public debt is high and there is a glaring need for investment in the European Union, effective taxation provides Member States with a basic level of revenue;

13.    Recommends that the Commission as well as individual Member States, when formulating or amending tax policy, inter alia in the framework of the European Semester, engage in a serious dialogue with businesses and social and civil stakeholders in order to ensure that tax policy legislation reflects economic reality and promotes voluntary tax compliance;

Boosting the benefits of the internal market through taxation policy

14.    Calls on the Commission to develop concrete proposals on how to tackle tax obstacles that hinder the cross-border activity of individuals and businesses in the Single Market, and to further develop tools of simplification and which increase transparency on taxation rules and regulations that are in force both in the EU and in the MSs; underlines that this would reduce the costs for companies, in particular SMEs, citizens and public administrations, and in turn would help prevent tax evasion, tax avoidance or simply mistakes;

15.    Notes that the EU VAT system provides for a significant part of EU public revenues – 21 % in 2009(28); highlights that the current VAT collection model has remained unchanged since its introduction, leading to high levels of both unnecessary compliance costs and tax avoidance; stresses that as the model is outdated, its continued use leads to substantial and unnecessary losses;

16.    Is extremely concerned that EUR 177 billion(29) in VAT revenues was lost due to non-compliance or non-collection in 2012;

17.    Welcomes the trilogue agreement on the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD) and the Transfer of Funds Regulation (ToFR); considers, however, that room for improvement remains and urges MSs to use the available flexibility, provided for in particular in the AMLD, towards the use of unrestricted public registers with access to beneficial ownership information for companies, trusts, foundations and other legal entities;

18.    Calls on the Commission to put forward concrete proposals to tackle the VAT gap in order to fight tax fraud and tax evasion, taking into account the recent proposals as adopted by the Council;

19.    Calls on the Commission, as a key element in building the Digital Single Market, to present a proposal aimed at allowing Member States to apply reduced VAT rates to books – and possibly also other media products – provided in a digital format; notes that the current situation, where reduced rates can only be applied to books if they are provided on a physical means of support, is not in line with the principle of subjecting similar goods and services to the same VAT rates;

20.    Calls on the Commission to come forward with a proposal to simplify legislation on VAT return obligations in order to reduce administrative burdens for EU businesses and to facilitate cross-border trade;

21.    Invites the Commission to come up with a clear legislative framework to ensure equality between e-products and their physical alternatives;

22.    Regrets that the eleven applying the enhanced cooperation procedure on a financial transaction tax (FTT) have fallen short of their commitment so far; recalls that the financial sector should make a fair contribution to public finances and takes note of the joint statement of 27 January 2015 by the eleven MSs and their commitment to implement an FTT with a wide scope and a small tax rate by 1 January 2016; underlines the urgency to act and the importance of an ambitious FTT; calls on other MSs to consider joining the FTT;

23.    Calls for the FTT revenues to be part of an own resource under the EU budget;

24.    Calls on MSs to swiftly agree to a CCCTB which would be compulsory in a first step for European companies and European cooperative societies and, in a second step, for all other companies except for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as provided for in Parliament’s legislative resolution of 19 April 2012 on the proposal for a Council directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB)(30);

25.    Calls on the Commission to carefully study the options for the introduction of a minimum rate of corporation tax as a means of curbing damaging tax competition;

26.    Notes that differences in tax legislation in neighbouring countries may cause problems for undertakings in border areas; calls on the Commission, therefore, to scrutinise planned legislation for its effects in border areas;

Fighting tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning and tax havens

27.    Awaits the Commission’s follow-up on its two recommendations on ‘measures intended to encourage third countries to apply minimum standards of good governance in tax matters’ and ‘aggressive tax planning’ and the MSs’ follow-up on the updated Commission Action Plan against tax fraud and tax evasion and aggressive tax planning;

28.    Emphasises that EU member states and the Commission, where appropriate, should take a leading role in discussions on the fight against alleged tax fraud or aggressive tax avoidance in the OECD, the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, and other relevant global forums;

29.    Calls on the Commission to develop further initiatives to promote good governance in tax matters in third countries, to tackle aggressive tax planning and to address double (non-)taxation gaps; states that double (non-)taxation agreements between MSs and third countries must be based on common standards; insists that no double (non-)taxation agreements should be entered into with tax havens or non-cooperative jurisdictions and invites the Commission, therefore, to add a clause in every relevant legislative proposal to ensure the objectives of the legislation are not circumvented via tax constructions;

30.    Asks the Commission to submit to the Council and Parliament, on a yearly basis, a report on the work and achievements of the platform for good tax governance;

31.    Welcomes the agreement on the anti-abuse rules in the Parent Subsidiary Directive; urges the MSs to implement them swiftly and to extend this to the Interest and Royalties Directive;

32.    Calls on the Commission to make tackling tax evasion a top priority, and to come up with wide-ranging and effective proposals against tax havens and avoidance in the first six months of 2015;

33.    Calls on the Commission to introduce, as part of these proposals, a commitment to, and tangible targets for, halving the tax gap by 2020(31), which could be part of the Europe 2020 monitoring;

34.    Calls on the Commission and on MSs to support the establishment of an intergovernmental tax body under the auspices of the United Nations with the aim of ensuring that developing countries can participate on an equal footing in the formulation and reform of global tax policies;

35.    Asks the Commission to fully cooperate with the OECD, the G20 and developing countries to address BEPS and to report regularly to Parliament and the Council on the progress made; welcomes the upcoming revised Commission Action Plan in 2015 on tax evasion and tax avoidance and calls on the Commission to come forward with an EU anti-BEPS Directive by the end of June 2015;

36.    Considers that the Commission should update the Action Plan against tax fraud, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning based on the pledges of the G20 leaders to ensure the fairness of the international tax system and secure the revenue basis of countries; considers that the Fiscalis and Custom Programmes should also focus on the issue of aggressive tax planning;

37.    Welcomes the swift implementation of country-by-country (CbC) reporting for banks as defined in the fourth amendment to the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD4); calls on the Commission to introduce as a next step mandatory CbC reporting for cross-border companies in all sectors and in all the countries in which they operate, including non-cooperative jurisdictions and tax havens, through an immediate revision of the accounting directive, whilst ensuring that administrative burdens are minimised;

38.    Calls for urgent action and binding measures to counter the harmful aspects of tax incentives offered on the income generated by intellectual property or ‘patent boxes’;

39.    Requests that information exchange be extended to cross-border tax rulings to ensure that all companies operating in the EU fulfil their obligations in all MSs and enhance transparency; underlines the fact that the exchange of information should not distort competition;

40.    Takes the view that tax rulings can be an important instrument with a view to creating legal certainty for businesses; regrets, however, the lack of transparency with which such rulings have been used in the MSs, thereby creating opportunities for tax avoidance and harmful tax competition;

41.    Considers, furthermore, that national legislatures should be permitted, confidentially, to inspect the content of tax rulings given, in order to enact appropriate national legislation to prevent tax avoidance;

42.    Welcomes the announcement of a Commission proposal on compulsory exchange of information on cross-border rulings; takes the view that the proposal must contain, first and foremost, an obligation for the MSs to inform each other on rulings adopted; further considers that the MSs should be obliged to notify the Commission of such rulings, of their underlying general principles and of their precise budgetary impact on the tax base, so that the Commission is better able to exercise its role as guardian of fair competition within the single market;

43.    Stresses that legal certainty for taxpayers – through predictable behaviour of national tax authorities and politics – should remain a priority; points to the fact that rulings and tax arrangements are not harmful in themselves, but that national tax authorities should communicate in a clear and unambiguous manner on which arrangements are acceptable and which are not;

44.    Strongly condemns MSs that have allowed or even encouraged their tax authorities to issue tax rulings that have led to the disconnecting of taxation and economic activity, and that as a consequence have significantly contributed to the erosion of public finances;

45.    Calls upon the Commission to intensify its use of EU state aid rules against aggressive tax planning; considers that the Commission should investigate all tax ruling cases to verify that they are not breaking EU state aid rules by providing selective tax benefits for some companies;

46.    Is concerned that national reforms in some MSs have resulted in inadequate staffing and resource allocation to national tax administrations and tax audit authorities; regrets that priority is often given to tax avoidance on a small scale rather than at the level of large multinationals; calls on MSs to ensure adequate resources and emphasises that the increase in revenue, as a result of more appropriate staffing levels and resource allocation, would be outweighed by the additional tax revenues; notes that electronic government tax services can lead to efficient use of human and financial resources;

47.    Stresses that effective, efficient and legitimate national tax policies require that national tax authorities function properly (i.e. enforcement should be adequate); stresses that national tax authorities should exchange information on best practices in order to learn from each other;

48.    Calls on the MSs to improve their administrative cooperation in the area of direct and indirect taxation and excise duties, and as regards mutual assistance in the recovery of claims; recognises the importance of exchange of best practices between MSs and invites them to exploit the full potential of the Fiscalis 2014-2020 and Customs 2014-2020 programmes;

49.    Calls on the Commission to propose, and on MSs to agree on, a common EU position and a broadened set of detailed criteria for the definition of tax havens and coordinated penalties to be imposed on uncooperative jurisdictions; calls for a blacklist to be drawn up of such tax havens and countries distorting competition with favourable tax conditions, including those in the EU, by 31 June 2015;

50.    Asks the Commission to offer cooperation and assistance to developing third countries which are not tax havens, to help them effectively tackle tax fraud and tax avoidance;

51.    Calls on the MSs to equip their competent authorities to carry out rigorous and through investigations, and put forward sanctions such as suspending or revoking the banking or advisory licences of financial institutions, accountants, law firms or other financial advisors if it has been proven that they have assisted in tax fraud;

52.    Calls for the introduction of strong sanctions to prevent companies breaching or dodging tax standards, by refraining from granting EU funding and access to state aid or to public procurement to fraudulent companies or companies located in tax havens or countries distorting competition with favourable tax conditions; urges MSs to recover all types of public support given to companies if they are involved in breaching EU tax standards;

53.    Calls on all MSs to publish an impact assessment of their Special Purpose Entities and similar legal constructs, as well as data showing the flow of investments through such entities in their countries; calls on MSs, furthermore, to introduce sufficiently strong substance requirements for all such entities to ensure that they cannot be abused for tax purposes;

54.    Calls upon the Commission to exploit to the full the scope offered by the law on state aid for combating aggressive tax planning, and to recognise that these practices are fundamentally anti-competitive and impede the ability of European SMEs to compete on a level playing field;

55.    Stresses that MSs that have received or are seeking financial assistance have an obligation to implement measures designed to strengthen and improve their capacity to collect tax and tackle tax fraud and tax evasion; urges the Commission to extend this obligation to encompass measures tackling money laundering, tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning;

56.    Calls on MSs to develop the necessary framework of cooperation between tax administrations and civil society that promotes social responsibility and transparency; believes that such cooperation with honest taxpayers can lead to tangible results in the identification, in particular, of new types of fraud and evasion;

57.    Asks the Commission to develop appropriate EU standards or proposals, in cooperation with the OECD, to address the challenges of taxation of the digital economy;

Promoting viable tax coordination for a long-term, growth-oriented economic policy

58.    Recalls Parliament’s plea(32) for a strengthening of the economic governance framework; calls on the Commission and MSs to enhance the use of the European Semester by integrating the EU tax gap strategy into the annual national stability and growth programmes and national reform programmes; calls on the Commission to invite the MSs to list and describe in their national reform programmes all tax exemptions given to companies;

59.    Encourages the Commission to develop a European taxpayers’ code setting out best practices for enhancing cooperation, trust and confidence between tax administrations and taxpayers, in order to ensure greater transparency of the rights and obligations of taxpayers and encourage a service-oriented approach;

60.    Emphasises that country-specific recommendations must be accepted and implemented by the MSs, in particular in the budgetary sphere;

61.    Calls for a review of the mandate of the Code of Conduct Group in order to improve its effectiveness and provide ambitious results, for example by introducing the obligation to publish tax breaks and subsidies for corporations; asks the Code of Conduct Group, furthermore, to provide and promptly publish an oversight of the extent to which countries meet the recommendations set out by the group in its six-monthly progress report to the finance ministers;

62.    Considers that the quantitative measurement of macroeconomic targets should be accompanied by qualitative indicators (social and environmental, for example), in order to address long-term goals; calls on the Commission, when drafting the country-specific recommendations, to carry out an in-depth study of the MSs’ differences and to focus on comparisons between MSs to identify best tax practices in the design of tax policies;

63.    Reiterates its call on the Commission to ensure that sufficient time and resources are allocated to the design, early presentation and follow-up to the ‘country-specific recommendations’ and to allow Parliament to provide democratic scrutiny;

64.    Regrets the lack of substantial progress to date in the area of taxation and tax reforms in the framework of the commitments of the Euro Plus Pact; calls on the Commission to fully embed pragmatic tax coordination in the European Semester cycle as part of a stronger economic policy coordination;

65.    In this context, urges MSs to simplify their tax systems, modernise their tax administrations and enhance their tax collection performance, inter alia by establishing efficient revenue collection mechanisms based on modern technology and by supporting new strategies regarding voluntary compliance, risk assessment and monitoring;

66.    Calls on MSs to shift the tax burden away from labour to other forms of sustainable taxation, with the aim of ensuring that fair contributions are made by all economic and financial sectors and in order to promote growth and high-quality job creation;

67.    Urges MSs, when introducing property taxes, to take into consideration all relevant side-effects, especially the fundamental right of accommodation, by protecting the principal house of each taxpayer;

68.    Calls on the Commission and the MSs to reflect on new and innovative types of taxes conducive to growth and employment;

69.    Underlines the fact that MSs’ taxation policy on environmental taxes should be aligned with the EU 2030 strategy; recognises that a shift towards environmental taxes has the potential to generate revenues and jobs; calls on the Commission to come forward with appropriate legislative proposals;

70.    Reiterates the need for a fundamental review of the European own resources system; takes the view that allocating more own resources in a budget-neutral manner would give the Commission greater effectiveness and autonomy and lead to a more transparent European budget; looks forward eagerly, therefore, to the results of the High Level Group on Own Resources;

°

°          °

71.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0312.

(2)

OJ C 258 E, 7.9.2013, p. 134.

(3)

http://www.fatf-gafi.org/media/fatf/documents/recommendations/pdfs/FATF_Recommendations.pdf

(4)

OJ C 258 E, 7.9.2013, p. 53.

(5)

OJ C 199 E, 7.7.2012, p.37.

(6)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0205.

(7)

http://www.oecd.org/tax/tax-global/part-1-of-report-to-g20-dwg-on-the-impact-of-beps-in-low-income-countries.pdf

(8)

http://register.consilium.europa.eu/doc/srv?l=EN&f=ST%2011644%202014%20INIT

(9)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/gen_info/economic_analysis/tax_papers/taxation_paper_43.pdf

(10)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/gen_info/economic_analysis/tax_papers/taxation_paper_44.pdf

(11)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/gen_info/economic_analysis/tax_papers/taxation_paper_45.pdf

(12)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/gen_info/economic_analysis/tax_papers/taxation_paper_48.pdf

(13)

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/143709.pdf

(14)

http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/ecofin/145105.pdf

(15)

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/2-16062014-BP/EN/2-16062014-BP-EN.PDF

(16)

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-623_en.htm

(17)

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-604_en.htm

(18)

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-416_en.htm

(19)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0129.

(20)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0038.

(21)

Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0094.

(22)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/tax_fraud_evasion/a_huge_problem/index_en.htm

(23)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/common/publications/com_reports/taxation/com%282012%29351_en.pdf

(24)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/common/publications/com_reports/taxation/com%282012%29351_en.pdf

(25)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/tax_fraud_evasion/missing-part_en.htm

(26)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/tax_fraud_evasion/c_2012_8806_en.pdf

(27)

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-%2f%2fEP%2f%2fTEXT%2bTA%2bP7-TA-2013-0593%2b0%2bDOC%2bXML%2bV0%2f%2fEN&language=EN

(28)

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee on the future of VAT – Towards a simpler, more robust and efficient VAT system tailored to the Single Market, COM(2011)0851.

(29)

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/common/publications/studies/vat_gap2012.pdf

(30)

OJ C 258E, 7.9.2013. p. 134.

(31)

European Parliament resolution of 12 December 2013 on the call for a measurable and binding commitment against tax evasion and tax avoidance in the EU (texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0593).

(32)

Resolution on the European Semester for economic policy coordination: implementation of 2014 priorities (texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0038) and resolution on Fight against Tax Fraud, Tax Evasion and Tax Havens (texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0205).


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

With due respect to the right for the design of an adjusted tax system to the individual characteristics of the economy of each Member State as provided by the Treaties, the report proposes a holistic approach as regards taxation policy, which can prove to be a pragmatic tool to foster growth and deepening the EMU. Thus, three main areas of priority are identified, which act supplementary to each other.

Firstly, action, through targeted measures of taxation policy, is required in order to reduce administrative burdens for business and tax authorities, suppress artificial barriers and mismatches between national legislations. Important initiatives are identified that can ensure legal certainty, enhance cross-border trade, promote the full potential of the Single Market and thus boost growth and employment.

Secondly, taxation policy, through securing the revenue basis, constitutes an important part of fiscal sustainability. Immediate, coordinated and comprehensive action, both in the EU and in the international context, is needed in order to stamp out the crime of tax evasion, to tackle tax fraud, tax avoidance and to fight aggressive tax planning and of course, tax havens. This immediate action could be an alternative to the introduction of new levels or forms of taxation and would ensure much needed additional funds to foster public investment, growth and employment. The report highlights key legislative acts and non-legislative actions that should be undertaken in order to increase public revenues, restore confidence in the fairness of our tax systems and reduce the burden on honest taxpayers.

Thirdly, tax coordination through well-defined structural tax reforms, in the context of the European Semester, is identified as a key tool to design tax policies that stimulate growth, employment and investment in the medium and long term horizon.


RESULT OF FINAL VOTE IN COMMITTEE

Date adopted

24.2.2015

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

46

9

5

Members present for the final vote

Burkhard Balz, Hugues Bayet, Pervenche Berès, Esther de Lange, Anneliese Dodds, Markus Ferber, Jonás Fernández, Elisa Ferreira, Sven Giegold, Neena Gill, Sylvie Goulard, Roberto Gualtieri, Gunnar Hökmark, Cătălin Sorin Ivan, Petr Ježek, Othmar Karas, Georgios Kyrtsos, Alain Lamassoure, Philippe Lamberts, Werner Langen, Sander Loones, Bernd Lucke, Olle Ludvigsson, Ivana Maletić, Fulvio Martusciello, Marisa Matias, Costas Mavrides, Luděk Niedermayer, Patrick O’Flynn, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Dariusz Rosati, Alfred Sant, Molly Scott Cato, Peter Simon, Renato Soru, Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, Paul Tang, Sampo Terho, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ernest Urtasun, Marco Valli, Tom Vandenkendelaere, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Miguel Viegas, Steven Woolfe, Pablo Zalba Bidegain, Marco Zanni, Sotirios Zarianopoulos

Substitutes present for the final vote

Richard Corbett, Ashley Fox, Eva Kaili, Syed Kamall, Barbara Kappel, Thomas Mann, Siegfried Mureșan

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Fabio De Masi, Gesine Meissner, Bernard Monot, Stanisław Ożóg

Last updated: 12 March 2015Legal notice