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