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.
“To step up the fight against tax evasion and tax avoidance, the ETUC is calling for the publication of detailed country-by-country reports, to be made publicly available.
“It is unacceptable that big corporations making large profits can avoid paying taxes while workers across Europe are suffering high unemployment, growing inequality and cuts in vital public services due to government austerity measures.”
“It is also clear that the ruling has created uncertainty and a sense of vulnerability for many workers in the foreign direct investment sector across the EU. The creation of a fairer, more transparent taxation system will bring greater levels of security to the sector, over the longer-term,” she said.
Ms Nilsson said that all companies should make a fair tax contribution in the country where profit is generated.
“Profits should not be channelled back through special accounting mechanisms to jurisdictions in which tax rates are lower.
“No government should offer special tax advantages to particular companies as this effectively discriminates against local and other businesses operating in that jurisdiction.
“Special treatment for selected companies comes at a heavy price, not just for excluded businesses but for the citizens of Europe. All citizens are entitled to expect that there is a just and transparent system of corporate taxation in place, in each member state,” she concluded.