11 March 2018Accounting & tax analysis

EU commissioner highlights aggressive tax planning in Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta

The European Commission has stressed the issue of aggressive tax planning in seven EU countries: Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and The Netherlands.

Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, responsible for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs at the European Commission, highlighted this in his opening remarks on the European Semester Winter Package, in Brussels on March 7.

Moscovici suggested the practices have the potential to undermine fairness and what he considers a “level playing field” in the internal market, and increase the burden on EU taxpayers.

“We of course recognise the steps of these states,” said Moscovici. “I am meeting the ministers of these countries on the basis of their position in the United States of America. Because there is progress, we have no doubt that it is because we believe in it.

“We must ensure that fair taxation becomes a rule - a rule without exceptions inside and outside the EU. I also welcome the fact, that the Council made public the demands of the public.”

He continued: “We are waiting for the answer, I repeat, I urge them and I urge everybody to make this commitment public because it is the only way for you, the media, NGOs, citizens, to evaluate the progress made for 2018.”