EU’s plans to tackle corporate tax avoidance hits first roadblocks

“New rules to tackle multinationals’ tax avoidance should not go beyond the scope of international guidelines, European Union finance ministers said on Friday, raising concerns about some of the proposals made by the European Commission in January,” Francesco Guarascio reports for Reuters. “Although criticised by some lawmakers and activists for not being ambitious enough, the proposals in some areas went beyond guidelines, known as BEPS, agreed at international level by the G20 group of the world’s largest economies and by members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.”

“‘I am strongly in favour to implement what has been agreed in BEPS in the first regulation and nothing else, otherwise it will take a lot of time to take a decision,”‘ German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said during a public session of a meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels. He did not rule out further measures, but only in a second stage,” Guarascio reports. “His remarks were echoed by several ministers, who went even further and warned about the risks for EU-based companies and the EU economy linked to the application of tax avoidance rules that are stricter than those applied by competing countries outside the EU.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The whole broken “system” needs to be blown to smithereens and a proper one designed for modern times.

The U.S. corporate tax rate is way too high. Obviously. It forces drastic and convoluted tax avoidance efforts.

Under the current U.S. corporate tax system, it would be very expensive to repatriate that cash. Unfortunately, the tax code has not kept up with the digital age. The tax system handicaps American corporations in relation to our foreign competitors who don’t have such constraints on the free flow of capital… Apple has always believed in the simple, not the complex. You can see it in our products and the way we conduct ourselves. It is in this spirit that we recommend a dramatic simplification of the corporate tax code. This reform should be revenue neutral, eliminate all corporate tax expenditures, lower corporate income tax rates and implement a reasonable tax on foreign earnings that allows the free flow of capital back to the U.S. We make this recommendation with our eyes wide open, realizing this would likely increase Apple’s U.S. taxes. But we strongly believe such comprehensive reform would be fair to all taxpayers, would keep America globally competitive and would promote U.S. economic growth.Apple CEO Tim Cook, May 21, 2013

U.S. Treasury official to meet EU antitrust team over Apple tax deals – January 29, 2016
Apple and Google stand by Europe tax deals; Rupert Murdoch weighs in – January 27, 2016
Apple could trigger global tax war, potential breakdown of the international tax system – January 27, 2016
Apple CEO Cook lobbies EU antitrust chief over Irish back taxes – January 21, 2016
Think Ireland’s corporate tax is unfair? Wave goodbye to Apple and thousands of jobs if it’s changed – November 14, 2015
Apple announces 1,000 new jobs in Ireland as EU tax ruling nears – November 11, 2015
Apple tax probe won’t hurt Ireland, Finance Minister Noonan says – October 5, 2015
EU’s Vestager says will not complete tax inquiries of Apple, others in second quarter – May 5, 2015
Apple warns of potential ‘material’ financial damage from European tax probe – April 29, 2015
Apple may have to pay Ireland 10 years of back taxes – April 30, 2015
Ireland’s Prime Minister: Apple has nothing to fear from end of ‘Double Irish’ tax avoidance strategy – November 4, 2014


  1. To this day, I cannot understand our country’s need to have BOTH sales tax and income tax… and property tax… and luxury tax…

    … wait, that’s Monopoly.

    Taxes are a bit high. I’m more concerned about where tax money GOES, but the amount of which we are all taxed, from ordinary joes like myself to big corporations, is a bit concerning.

    1. It is a topic far too complex for forums like this, but let me propose a few ideas:

      1) casting a wide net catches more fish. narrow taxation, while elegant in theory, leads to rampant tax avoidance.

      2) monetary flows. some tax revenues completely dry up seasonally or when the economy tanks. So offsetting taxation is necessary to hedge against it.

      3) no single form of tax is considered “fair”. So lobbyists have pushed governments essentially to tax everyone in multiple ways. The book rate always looks high, but then when you start looking at the loopholes you will discover that the organizations with the biggest lobby have sliced their way to practical immunity from many taxes.

      4) escalation in demands from an aging public. Every nation in the western hemisphere is struggling under the weight of a huge population of senior citizens who demand significant services. At the same time, US has chosen repeatedly in the last 70 years to embark on foreign wars that are even more expensive than the domestic duties that everyone wants. The result has been decades of deficit spending which triggers repeated tax rate increases from both corrupt political parties.

      5) the design of local, state, and national taxation varies dramatically. So if you don’t like the tax situation of where you live, it’s really your choice. For all those who claim that they don’t need public services, it’s amazing these people in general choose to live in the most expensive regions of the country. Wyoming would love to have more homesteaders.

  2. Hey Readers, check out this quiz.

    Which comment is totally irrelevant about the article?

    a. Article is about EU Commission.
    b. EU financial ministers comment, including the French, Dutch and British.
    c. Criticised by some lawmakers and activists for not being ambitious enough
    d. MDN’s take is about U.S. corporate tax laws.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.