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Parliamentary questions
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24 September 2020
E-005215/2020
Question for written answer E-005215/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Carmen Avram (S&D)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: The Commission’s proposal to fight aggressive tax planning using Article 116 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) – ensuring greater tax fairness and social justice

Tax avoidance by multinationals and high-net-worth individuals in now on the EU policy agenda (1) ​ (2) ​ as Member States pile up the debt to pay for the COVID-19 recession. Brussels is pursuing a number of tax measures including the introduction of greater transparency from major corporations, but progress is blocked by the unanimity rule in the Council (3) .

The Commission has identified (4) Member States such as the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Hungary (5) as countries where tax rules are being used by companies to engage in aggressive tax planning (6) .

Article 116 TFEU would enable legal action to be taken to stamp out sweetheart corporate tax schemes if these risk undermining the single market. Crucially, approving cases thereunder would require support from a qualified majority of EU governments and could not be vetoed by any one Member State.

Elsewhere, Commissioner Gentiloni has said that he would demand that national recovery and resilience plans submitted to the Commission under the recovery fund address national measures deemed to facilitate aggressive tax planning.

1. Can the Commission confirm its intention to use Article 116 TFEU for the field of taxation?

2. Can it confirm that companies established in tax heavens will not receive any funds from the recovery programmes?

3. Is it linking recovery funds to the fact that some Member States are actively addressing aggressive tax planning?

(1)https://www.afr.com/world/europe/brussels-ready-to-clamp-down-on-sweetheart-corporate-tax-deals-20200924-p55yxa
(2)https://www.ft.com/content/92081b99-86a1-4c8f-b10a-39939b40bc09
(3)https://www.ft.com/content/7c156756-57a1-4554-af78-d795a41d13f9
(4)https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/SPEECH_20_1360
(5)https://news.bloombergtax.com/daily-tax-report-international/eu-calls-out-six-member-countries-on-aggressive-tax-planning
(6)https://www.ft.com/content/4068b83a-2c64-43e9-b82a-0b77c454164b
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