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EU tax avoidance measures mustn't harm bone fide investment

31 May 2016

EU tax avoidance measures mustn't harm bone fide investment

Measures aimed at tax avoidance had to be aimed at reducing abuse, not at limiting genuine investment, European finance ministers were told, reported Times of Malta last week.

EU states are discussing a proposal to lay down rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the single market. The Commission wants legally-binding measures to block the most common methods used by companies to avoid paying tax as well as for member states to share tax-related information on multinationals operating in the EU. It is also pushing for a new EU process for listing third countries that refuse to play fair.

A number of Member States including Malta used the ECOFIN meeting to stress the need to respect primary EU law in the application of anti-abuse legislation when this is applicable intra-EU.

A Finance Ministry statement said, “More technical work and discussions will now continue to take place until we reach an agreement. On our side, we have to continue seeking and obtaining the reassurances we need on our tax system.”

EU Finance Ministers also agreed on Council Conclusions in connection with the VAT Action plan launched by the Commission in April. The plan would introduce a simpler, fraud-proof and more business-friendly VAT system.

ECOFIN Ministers approved a €10.3 billion bailout package for Greece.  The deal includes a pledge to re-profile Greek debt in mid-2018 if its debt remains unmanageable.

EU Finance Ministers also agreed on Council Conclusions in connection with the VAT Action plan launched by the Commission in April for a simpler, fraud-proof and more business friendly VAT system. Ministers also adopted Council Conclusions related to the 2016 European Semester cycle.

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