Something has gone wrong in the European Union. Four examples bear witness to this dysfunction. How can it be justified that hundreds of thousands of letter-box companies have been allowed to develop, when the aim of these ghost companies is to evade taxes, labour laws and regulations? How can it be explained that European Court of Justice decisions authorized the restriction of employees’ fundamental rights in order to support business schemes whose very objective was to circumvent the protection of employees?
Responding favourably to the European Commission’s proposal today for a 3% minimum tax on revenues of large digital companies such as the GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), the ETUC calls on the EU and all Member States to ensure that “digital value” is taxed where it is created.
The ‘Paradise Papers’ show the multiple legal ways for companies and rich individuals to avoid tax, and highlight the need for determined action for tax justice, says the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).
“While millions of Europeans struggle to make a living on low-paid, part-time and temporary jobs, large companies and rich individuals are using the many loopholes available to them to avoid paying their fair share of tax,” said Katja Lehto-Komulainen, Deputy General Secretary of the ETUC.
European Parliament votes on new tax transparency rules for large multinationals on July 4.
The ETUC urges MEPs to support the new rules, and get rid of the ‘get out clause’ that would reduce transparency of multinationals.
Responding to the European Commission’s legislative proposal on public country-by-country reporting (CBCR) by multinationals due to be voted on the ECON and JURI committees at the European Parliament on 30 May, the European Trade Union Confederation and civil society organisations urge the European Parliament to extend transparency to company activities in all countries on a worldwide basis.
Public Hearing ECON/EP 3 May 2017
Speech by Katja Lehto-Komulainen Deputy General Secretary ETUC
Mr. Chairperson, Members of the Committee, Ladies and Gentlemen,
There are two main fields where the current European Commission promised to deliver and which our trade union members are very interested in:
social field and
A campaign by Swiss public service union VPOD/ SSP helped to convince Swiss voters to throw out moves to ease corporate taxation, in a referendum on 12 February. Almost 60% rejected reforms that would have cut resources for vital public services.
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) supports a mandatory common consolidated corporate tax base across the European Union.
“A common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) will make aggressive tax planning more difficult” said ETUC Deputy General Secretary Veronica Nilsson, “and remove some incentives to move money around in order to pay less tax, especially through the use of transfer pricing".
The ETUC regrets
The recent ruling on Apple by the European Commission raises serious and significant questions about the tax regimes that apply to corporations operating in the European Union, says the European Trade Union Confederation.
“Of particular concern to the ETUC is the use of aggressive tax planning schemes to lower and minimise tax payable, with some corporations clearly paying ridiculously low amounts of tax on profits generated within the EU,” said Veronica Nilsson, Deputy General Secretary of the ETUC.
Further to specific developments in the case of Vos Transport in the period between the end of SOMO's research and the publication of the report, SOMO has published the following annex providing an update including a recent case ruling, reference to the Dutch Labour Inspection report and Vos reply
Letter for the attention of Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission
Brussels, 5 April, 2016
Commission proposal on disclosure of income tax information by certain multinational corporations
Dear President Juncker,
The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) is outraged by the extent of top-level tax evasion and financial corruption revealed by the so-called Panama Papers.
More than 11 million leaked files from the database of secretive Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca show that some of the world’s wealthiest and most powerful people, including political leaders and celebrities, are evading tax and hiding their cash in shady offshore funds that also finance companies involved in money laundering, arms deals and drug trafficking.
Adopted at the ETUC Executive Committee on 11-12 March 2014
Undeclared work is a serious form of social dumping and it is high time that concrete action is taken at EU level in order to prevent undeclared work and to protect undeclared workers.
The EU needs better enforcement of existing labour laws and standards as well as a stronger role in promoting more, and better, cooperation and coordination between the different national administrations.
As the European Parliament is due to vote on 22 May on the report on Fight against Tax Fraud, Tax Evasion and Tax Havens by MEP Kleva Kekuš (SL, S&D), European trade unions encourage all MEPs to support it.
The draft report proposes concrete steps towards banning all tax havens and forcing transnational companies to pay their fair share of taxes on the huge profits they make. If adopted, it will send strong signals to the EU Summit on 22 May.
Konventum, Helsingor, Denmark, 07/06/2010
Last time, I came to a SAMAK event, it was in Oslo and the hot topic was a self critical examination of whether Nordic countries could have done more to handle the effects of the Asian tsunami which killed thousands, including hundreds of Scandinavians.