Brussels to unearth EU plans for corporate tax
The European Commission is preparing fresh proposals for a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) this year, but views diverge between Brussels, Paris and Berlin over the objectives of the plan.
The European Commission has long sought to harmonise national corporate tax systems, claiming that this will contribute to its goal of creating more growth and jobs in Europe and boosting the competitiveness of EU companies (see EurActiv’s Lisbon Agenda LinksDossier).
Currently, there are 27 different systems in Europe for calculating a company’s taxable earnings, making it costly and burdensome for businesses to operate in several member states. The Commission says creating a single tax base will encourage cross-border activities and investments.
The idea of a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) was initially voiced in a 2001 communication but progress has been slow due to member states’ reluctance to allow the Commission to encroach upon their national sovereignty in this area.
A first report on progress to date and next steps towards a CCCTB was issued in April 2006. The Commission followed up a year later with a communication outlining the remaining steps to be taken to establish a single tax base for European companies by 2010.
At the last EU summit on 4 February, Germany and France presented a working document, called the ‘Competitiveness Pact’, inviting eurozone countries to agree minimum harmonisation in taxation and social policies.