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Press watch: ‘Europe plans action on corporate tax avoidance’

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‘The European Commission is pushing for a significant bolstering of Europe’s defences against aggressive corporate tax avoidance schemes, as the EU bids to clamp down on practices which cost its member states as much as $60bn per year.

‘Pressure is mounting on companies which artificially shift profits to tax havens or low-tax jurisdictions, following months of revelations about the very low tax rates enjoyed by some groups at a time when cash-strapped governments across Europe are struggling to boost revenues.

‘According to draft documents seen by the Financial Times, the Commission is recommending that member states adopt a common, tougher definition of what constitutes a tax haven, and then scrap or suspend existing double taxation agreements with such countries, meaning that companies would no longer be able to use them to avoid taxes …’

Financial Times, 19 November 2012