Macron’s corporate tax plans have no chance of success with unanimity – Hayes
Brian Hayes MEP has said that Emmanuel Macron’s plans for a single EU corporate tax band by 2020 have no chance of making it through the EU legislative process.
“Macron’s new corporate tax band plan may go down well in Paris but there is overwhelming opposition in most of Europe to harmonisation of corporate tax rates. It even makes it clear in the EU Treaties that corporate tax rates are not an EU competence, they are for Member States to decide.
“The fact that any decision taken on tax in the European Council requires complete unanimity means that Macron’s corporate tax plans are just fanciful nonsense. Ireland will always have a veto against such proposals. And any attempt to change the unanimity rule requires a vote in the European Council, of which any Member State can veto.
“The Irish government needs to consistently and decisively shoot down any potential intrusion into our ability to set corporate tax rates. We have to make it clear that the EU cannot turn into a transfer Union, where corporate tax revenues transfer from smaller Member States to larger Member States.
“One wonders if France had a corporate tax rate of 12.5% and Ireland had a corporate tax rate of 30%, would any of these tax harmonisation plans be on the cards? Tax competition between countries is good for Europe and good for European investment. Tax competition keeps Europe on its toes and makes sure that businesses stay in Europe.
“The CCCTB proposal which is being discussed at present is another example of the EU over-reaching on tax matters. As it stands, the Commission proposal on CCCTB is a complete intrusion into the way Member States define their corporate tax system. While Ireland is right to engage in this proposal, we should not be afraid to use our veto if the time comes for a vote.
“One thing I do agree with Macron on is that we need to tackle aggressive tax planning. But aggressive tax planning is a global issue which requires a global solution. The best way to tackle tax avoidance by multinationals is through the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) initiative. Ireland has been at the forefront of defining and developing the OECD BEPS initiative.”