Free competition in a single market may be a core ideological foundation shared within the EU structure, but when it comes to corporate taxation, each state follows its own rules.
EU member states have been using fiscal sovereignty in an unorthodox manner as an alibi for taxation methods, causing tax disputes among their governments. Today’s scepticism concerns that this status quo should be finally be given an end, delivering its post to efficiency.
According to Mr Lamassoure, there should be a mutual member states agreement within the Union, beginning with the definition of what is a taxable profit, but on the other hand leaving the freedom to each member to determine and apply the respective suitable rates, as it has been practiced in the case of VAT for the past four decades.
Mr Lamassoure sees as vital the cooperation between the European institutions, in order to further hunt harmful tax practices in the EU down, with the adoption of appropriate measures. He considers dialogue and negotiation as essential tools, which juxtaposed with the relevant experience over time, will inspire EU member states to implement more fair and transparent rules on corporate taxation.
As a solution on the issue, Lamassoure suggest that both the member states and the institution should seek to find the answer in the term called “Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base”, a project that had been ready for implementation since 2011, following the Commissions legislative proposal.
At the time being, 28 member states continue to operate under 28 different tax systems, upsetting the unity of the single market, having an impact on growth, employment and competition at a global level.
“We must, beyond common rules demarcating the competition field of corporate taxation, adopt a common vision for our tax policies”.
– Alain Lamassoure, European Parliament member (France).
Concluding, Mr Lamassoure referred to OECD work to suggest that the whole idea of a common tax policy within the EU member states is utterly achievable, which in return could change further global taxation practices.