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EU to amend laws to halt tax evasion by multinational companies in Luxembourg, Ireland, Netherlands

EU to amend laws to halt tax evasion by multinational companies in Luxembourg, Ireland, Netherlands

AMSTERDAM: The European Union has come up with a plan to eradicate tax evasion by investigating existing rules that allow multinationals to cut their bills in Luxembourg, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The EU’s executive commission said Wednesday that it will propose new tax legislation next month, including on the automatic exchange of information about tax rulings.

Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said the EU “must reassure people that the tax burden is distributed fairly and the tax rules shall apply equally to all citizens and businesses.”

The 28-country EU has pledged to crack down on tax rulings favouring big firms.The Commission, which polices state aid rules, launched an investigation on Feb. 3 to establish whether a Belgian tax provision allows some companies to substantially reduce their liabilities.

It opened probes last year into Apple in Ireland, Starbucks in the Netherlands and Amazon in Luxemburg.EU countries share little information about corporate tax rulings, making it difficult for tax authorities to work out where a company’s real business takes place and to apply the rules fairly.