EU Com­mis­sion pro­posal for coun­try-by-coun­try tax re­port­ing re­quires unan­i­mous vote

Malta Independent - - FRONT PAGE - Gabriel Schem­bri

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s pro­posal re­gard­ing ‘coun­try-by-coun­try’ re­port­ing, which would re­quire com­pa­nies to pub­lish cer­tain fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion for taxation, re­quires a unan­i­mous vote, the le­gal ser­vices of the Coun­cil ad­vised.

In an opin­ion pub­lished on Mon­day, the Coun­cil’s lawyers said that the le­gal ba­sis for the Com­mis­sion’s pro­posal is in­cor­rect and said that this should be based on Ar­ti­cle 115 of the Treaty on the Func­tion­ing of the Euro­pean Union. This means that this pro­posal re­quires a unan­i­mous vote and not a qual­i­fied ma­jor­ity.

The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is propos­ing an amend­ment in ac­count­ing stan­dards di­rec­tive. It was orig­i­nally based on Ar­ti­cle 50 of the Treaty on the Func­tion­ing of the Euro­pean Union which means that the pro­posal could pass with a qual­i­fied ma­jor­ity.

Malta was among the coun­tries, such as Cyprus and Lux­em­bourg, which ex­pressed some is­sues with this pro­posal as they feared that this would cre­ate a prece­dent with taxation is­sues.

This opin­ion by the Com­mis­sion’s lawyers comes at a time when Malta is pre­par­ing it­self to re­ceive fel­low coun­tries del­e­ga­tions for the 2017 Pres­i­dency of the EU. The agenda, which is al­ready jam-packed with im­por­tant is­sues such as mi­gra­tion and Brexit, will now also have to in­clude this is­sue which af­fects Malta di­rectly be­cause of the boom­ing on­line gam­ing in­dus­try.

The Com­mis­sion’s pro­posal is aimed to serve as de­ter­rent against tax eva­sion by ex­pos­ing com­pa­nies to pub­lic scru­tiny.

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