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.
The Commission’s proposal aims at producing greater corporate tax transparency by requiring multinationals operating in the EU to publicly report on their profits, taxes, number of employees, and other relevant financial information, in each country they operate in.
Katja Lehto-Komulainen, ETUC Deputy General Secretary, stressed that “The EU cannot miss this opportunity to increase corporate tax transparency. The proposal from the Commission has been long-awaited by the ETUC and is a step in the right direction. Increased transparency about where firms carry out their activities will help to stamp out corporate tax avoidance and ensure that profits are taxed where economic activities occur.
“But the problem with the proposal is that it applies only to reporting activities in EU member states and countries on a list yet-to-be determined tax havens, which risks creating a major loophole.”
ETUC favours an extension of public country-by-country reporting to company activities in all countries worldwide to
- Avoid the risk of multinationals engaging in profit shifting to jurisdictions which are not covered by the proposal
- Ensure that developing countries will have access to country-by country reporting information and help to unlock funding for development
- Prevent misinterpretation as information on firm’s activities will be publicly accessible in all countries
- Create a fairer distribution of tax payments between multinationals and SMEs - enhancing SMEs’ capacity to support growth and job creation
Q&A from civil society organisations: see pdf in annex