(Brussels, 18 May 2021)
Following the publication today by the European Commission of its Communication on “Business Taxation for the 21st Century”,
BusinessEurope Director General Markus J. Beyrer made the following comments:
“We need a modern corporate tax framework to overcome the current economic downturn, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We share the European Commission’s desire to make corporate taxes across the EU simpler and more conducive to investment and economic growth.
Corporate tax reform in light of the increasingly digital economy is best taken forward through global agreement, and we share the Commission’s satisfaction regarding recent progress at the OECD. Regarding minimum taxation, we hope the EU will contribute to ensuring the global discussion finds the right balance between addressing harmful tax practises that countries use to artificially boost revenue at the expense of others, and ensuring that countries have the flexibility to maintain corporate tax rates supportive to investment and growth.
Raising tax revenue will require the right tax environment for companies to invest and grow, so the Commission must tread careful in thinking about how to raise tax revenue. Proposals such as a new levy on digital firms, a Financial Transaction Tax or an additional own resource targeted at the corporate sector, risk undermining the efforts to increase investment through the EU’s NextGeneration instrument.”
The Communication also includes wide-ranging plans to transform existing proposals for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base into a new EU corporate tax framework, the Business in Europe – Framework for Income Taxation (BE-FIT). BusinessEurope will clearly need to study such proposals when full details are made available. Whilst such proposals may have the potential to act as a growth-enhancing measure for European businesses, in order to allow businesses to expand quicker and easier across the Single Market, it will be essential they allow for full consolidation of profits between Member States, as well as appropriate safeguards to ensure that smaller Member States are not disadvantaged.