A Labour MEP today told President Juncker to come up with a clear definition of 'tax havens' and called on the European Commission to avoid creating new loopholes.
Anneliese Dodds MEP, Labour's European Parliament spokesperson on tax, called on Mr Juncker and the Commission to come up with an agreed, objective definition of 'tax havens' so action can be taken against those jurisdictions and the companies which use them, and to avoid creating loopholes for aggressive tax avoidance as it develops its latest plans on tax.
She also called for Lord Hill, European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, to listen to the voice of small businesses and citizens - and not just global corporations - as he looks into the benefits of increasing transparency for reporting on tax.
Ms Dodds asked Mr Juncker today:
"How will the Commission ensure that the new loss adjustment arrangements do not become a mechanism for more aggressive tax planning? How can we maintain impetus towards a full consolidated tax base?
"When will the Commission produce a definition of tax havens?
"Please impress on Lord Hill the need for non-multinational companies, especially SMEs, to be consulted when developing plans for country-by-country reporting."
Anneliese Dodds MEP added:
"Only a few months ago, the European Commission announced five areas for action to make the European corporate tax system fairer.
"These included introducing a single, compulsory set of rules for cross-border companies to use when assessing their tax base; ensuring companies pay their tax wherever they make their profits; and publishing a list of 30 countries and territories deemed to be 'tax havens’. But many of these proposals are still far from fruition, and there isn't agreement on exactly what constitutes a 'tax haven' - meaning that the list is at risk of being challenged.
"The Commission needs to move fast and ensure its actions match its words. In Britain alone over the past five years, the amount of uncollected tax rose by £3 billion to a staggering £34 billion a year.
"The cost of inaction is obscenely high. Both our national and European policy-makers must take real action now."