Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tax on companies: Brussels wants to put the multinationals on the same plate – France Inter

A lack of being able to create a european rate which is unique to the corporate income tax, Pierre Moscovici proposes to harmonize the assessment basis for this tax, the object of the dumpings tax.

Le commissaire européin revival the draft CCCTB, October 26, 2016 à Bruxelles
The european commissioner relaunch the project CCCTB, on the 26th of October 2016 in Brussels © Maxppp / OLIVIER HOSLET

Luxleaks, Panama Papers, BahamaLeaks, fine of 13 billion euros, compared to Apple in Ireland… The scandals evasion or tax optimization succeed for months, and Europe still face this fact : nothing, today, does not prevent the multinational companies to reduce their corporation tax (IS) from the country where taxation is lightest.

Each EU country is free to set its own tax rate, and it is not ready to change : the national leadership is careful to protect this pillar of their sovereignty. Then in order to avoid social dumping which is losing billions of euros to the member States, Pierre Moscovici, the european commissioner for economic and financial affairs, returned to the charge with an old project : align, not the corporate tax rate across Europe, but the base of this tax, namely, the type of benefits that would be subject to the tax.

it’s called the CCCTB, common consolidated base for corporate tax. The companies who do business in several member countries could not complete a single return for all their activities in the EU, and the profits would then be taxed in the country in which they were made.

In this way, the Commission hopes to “eliminate the disparities between the national tax systems, preferential regimes and rulings tax, these arrangements negotiated by the large corporations with the States to have treatment favours”.

A failure in 2011

The idea of the CCCTB is not new, it was already mentioned in 2011 but had met with many objections. the Align the base of the IS, it means to end the tax loopholes, and deductions for certain types of benefits (provisions, interest on borrowings, depreciation…) that apply in each country and enable each to convince the companies to come and settle in his home rather than in the neighbouring countries.

for each country, its specialities tax

The current situation clearly favours the tax dumping : each member State has a different taxation system, he has developed tax regimes that attract more of a type of particular companies.

  • Ireland attracts large groups of Internet and global finance, through its IS the lowest in Europe. His average rate rises to 12.5% when it rises to 33% in France, to 34% in Belgium, and 29.6% in Germany. Only Bulgaria does better at 10% of the average rate. But Dublin has managed to keep the giants out of the Net and finance by adopting, in 2012, of the tax measures that they had imposed on themselves. The transfer prices used by multinational companies (the costs of the transactions carried out between subsidiaries), for example, are not the subject of any legal framework to be imposed, so that it is one of the levers favorite of these companies to evade taxes.
  • Luxembourg, he has the favour of the multinational agro-food (Coca-Cola, Heinz,…), but also of the trade (Ikea, Burberry, LVMH, etc.) and banks-insurance (HSBC, Axa…) in their granting of agreements on measurement (as the famous rulings reported in 2014 by issuing “Cash Investigation” on France 2 and which had led to the trial of the LuxLeaks).
  • The netherlands cruise groups organised in subsidiaries throughout Europe, with a tax structure very favorable for them : there, on the dividends and capital gains on disposal of holdings are not taxed. Ca benefits more than 6 000 companies, including Renault-Nissan.
  • Belgium, in 2015, was the second country in Europe where companies can more advantageously reduce the tax base of their profits, according to a study conducted by the European Commission. His sleight-of-hand tax in favour of the multinational corporations have in particular enabled the group to beer AB Inbev don’t have to pay in 2013 than 26 000 euros tax on a total profit of 5.8 billion).
  • And France, then ? It attracts thanks to the research tax credit that allows deductions important tax on companies (30% of research spending is frequently heard in the very broadest sense, up to 100 million euros, 5% above and no ceiling).

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