Brian Hayes MEP today welcomed Ireland’s tax measures which bring us into line with international tax principles but said that we should not adopt measures which are out of sync with other countries. Mr. Hayes made the following comments after reports that Ireland is set to become one of the first countries to introduce country-by-country tax reporting:
“Country by country reporting has been a key requirement of the European Parliament for years. This is all about tax transparency and transmitting tax information from one authority to the next.
“There is a debate about whether country by country reporting should be publicly available – I think this is something that needs to be assessed on an international level after a number of years.
“It is very welcome that Ireland has moved in line with OECD international tax standards – the Double Irish has been removed, Irish registered companies can no longer be considered ‘stateless’ for tax purposes and Ireland was one of the first to sign up to the FATCA tax transparency agreement with the US.
“While I accept the need to introduce more tax transparency measures, we should not do it out of sync with other countries.
“We should also remember that this is not about moving towards a harmonised EU tax system. Tax competition between Member States is good for business. The EU has no competency on corporate tax rates – this is a matter solely for Member States.
“When tax matters are decided at EU level, there should be respect given to the unanimity principle which means that tax proposals must be agreed unanimously by Member States before being adopted.”