President Jean-Claude Juncker delivers his first State of the Union speech before the European Parliament.
Tax measures in the State of the Union:
Within this priority, the Commission's political guidelines highlighted the need 'to combat tax evasion and tax fraud, so that all contribute their fair share'. In that field, in March 2015 it adopted a Tax Transparency package. Together with a Communication on tax transparency to fight tax evasion, the package included two legislative proposals: one on the introduction of the automatic exchange of information between EU Member States on their tax rulings (with a related Staff Working Document) and a proposal for repealing the Directive on taxation of savings income. Central to the package, the proposal on cross-border tax rulings seeks to introduce automatic exchanges of information between Member States. Transparency in that field should lead member States to improve their tax practices and actions against harmful tax practices. The proposal on tax rulings received unanimous political support from Finance Ministers at the Informal Ecofin Council in April. Consulted on the proposal on tax rulings, as well as on the repeal of the Savings Directive, the EP is expected to give its opinion on the former towards the end of the year.
The second stepping-stone was the adoption by the Commission, on 17 June 2015, of an Action
Plan for Fair and Efficient Corporate Taxation in the EU. The Plan, without harmonising tax rates
within the EU, sets out a series of measures built around five key areas –
- Re-launching the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB),
- Ensuring fair taxation where profits are generated,
- Creating a better business environment,
- Increasing transparency, and
- Improving EU coordination.
Amongst the actions planned, the Commission will, in 2016, present a new proposal for a mandatory CCCTB (to be introduced through a step-by-step approach), and launched a public consultation on whether companies should publicly disclose certain tax information.
In February 2015, the EP voted to establish a special parliamentary committee (TAXE Committee) to look into EU Member States' 'tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect' and to make recommendations for the future. The Committee's report is due to be presented in plenary in November, while a legislative initiative report from the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs on 'bringing transparency, coordination and convergence to corporate tax policies in the Union' will follow.