Thursday, 5 December 2019

Questions (156)

Robert Troy


156. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the details of the discussions at the recent EU Competitiveness Council meeting in Helsinki and the proposals by the Finnish presidency and the European Commission on corporation tax reporting (details supplied); and the position taken by Ireland to safeguard national interests. [50962/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

The proposal for a Directive to amend Directive 2013/34/EU (the Accounting Directive) as regards disclosure of income tax information by certain undertakings and branches (country by country reporting) was made by the European Commission in April 2016. The proposal was on the Competitiveness Council Agenda on 28 November 2019 for general approach. In the absence of sufficient support for the presidency's proposal, the presidency announced that it would continue work on this file and that it would reflect on the best way for taking this forward.

Ireland supports transparency. However, in relation to this proposal on public country by country reporting of income tax, Ireland supported a joint statement to the Competitiveness Council which agreed with the Council Legal Service that the legal base for this proposal should be a tax base (Article 115 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), and therefore, should be considered by Ecofin Council. Moreover, we consider that this measure should have the benefit of tax expertise to ensure that it is consistent with existing reporting requirements and, importantly, with the international cooperation and exchange of information arrangements, which are based on confidentiality. Tax experts are best placed to ensure that international efforts to collect income tax from multinational corporations will not be undermined by new measures.