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Common Tax Base

The European Commission believes that the only systematic way to address the underlying tax obstacles which exist for companies operating in more than one Member State in the Internal Market is to provide companies with a consolidated corporate tax base for their EU-wide activities. Targeted solutions have many merits and would go some way towards remedying the tax obstacles. However, even if all of them were implemented, they would not address the fundamental problem of dealing with up to 27 different tax systems.

 What is the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB)?

The Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base is a single set of rules that companies operating within the EU could use to calculate their taxable profits. In other words, a company or qualifying group of companies would have to comply with just one EU system for computing its taxable income, rather than different rules in each Member State in which they operate.

In addition, under the CCCTB, groups using the CCCTB would be able to file a single consolidated tax return for the whole of their activity in the EU. The consolidated taxable profits of the group would be shared out to the individual companies by a simple formula so that each Member State can then tax the profits of the companies in its State at the tax rate that they - each Member State - chooses, (just like today.)

The Commission proposal

The European Commission on 16 March 2011 proposed a common system for calculating the tax base of businesses operating in the EU.

The proposed Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), would mean that companies would benefit from a "one-stop-shop" system for filing their tax returns and would be able to consolidate all the profits and losses they incur across the EU. Member States would maintain their full sovereign right to set their own corporate tax rate.

For further information see the press release (IP/11/319 Choose translations of the previous link  ), the questions and answers (MEMO/11/171 Choose translations of the previous link  ), the citizens' summary in 22 languagespdf(24 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  , the text of the proposal in 22 languages (COM/2011/121pdf(444 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  ), the Impact Assessment (SEC/2011/315pdf(901 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  ) and its summary in 22 languages (SEC/2011/316pdf(45 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  ), and the studies made for the Commission.

See also Commissioner Ĺ emeta's speech Choose translations of the previous link  .

 Background

This policy was established in 2001 (COM(2001) 582 of 23/10/2001) and confirmed in 2003 (COM(2003) 726 of 24/11/2003).

A public consultation was held in 2003 concerning the use of International Accounting Standards as a possible starting point for a common EU tax base.

In July 2004 a non-paper on the common tax basepdf(120 kB) was presented by the Commission and discussed at the informal ECOFIN meeting in September 2004. The discussions revealed broad support for the creation of a Commission Working Group to progress work on the common tax base.

On 2 May 2007 the Commission adopted a Communication on 'Implementing the Community Programme for improved growth and employment and the enhanced competitiveness of EU business: Further Progress during 2006 and next steps towards a proposal on the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB)' (COM/2007/223pdf(61 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  ); see also the press release IP/07/593 Choose translations of the previous link  .

For the meeting on 27-28 September 2007 the Commission Services prepared a working paper on 'CCCTB: possible elements of a technical outline' (CCCTB/WP/057 pdf(295 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  + annexpdf(93 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  ) which sets out a possible outline of the principles of a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base by beginning to bring the various structural elements of the base together into a coherent set of rules.

 Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base Working Group (CCCTB WG) - Practical Information

What will the CCCTB WG do?

The overall objective of the CCCTB WG is

  • to examine from a technical perspective the definition of a common consolidated tax base for companies operating in the EU.
  • to discuss the basic tax principles,
  • to discuss the fundamental structural elements of a common consolidated tax base and
  • to discuss other necessary technical details such as a mechanism for 'sharing' a consolidated tax base between Member States.

As a group of experts the role of the Working Group is to provide technical assistance and advice to the Commission.

Who is taking part?

Experts from all 27 Member States and the Commission Services participate in the Working Group. Contributions are made in a technical capacity and no Member State is called upon to make political commitments. Participation by a Member State does not commit it to implement a common consolidated tax base. The Commission is also keen to ensure contribution to the work by experts from business and academia and in December 2005 the Working Group met in an extended format for the first time.

How does the CCCTB WG function?

The CCCTB WG is established initially for a period of three years and approximately four meetings a year are planned. In addition to these meetings the Working Group may decide to set up sub-groups to consider issues in more depth and these will meet on an ad-hoc basis and report back to the main Working Group. Further information is available in the Working Papers discussed at the first meeting on 23 November 2004.

How can I keep up to date on progress?

Working Documents prepared by the Taxation and Customs Union Directorate General for discussion in meetings of the Working Group are published on this web-site shortly after each meeting.

The document published is the one discussed at the meeting, subject to any factual corrections or clarifications. In many cases the documents include a series of questions and comments and contributions are welcome. Please send them to taxud-ccctb@ec.europa.eu.

Written Contributions have been received from several organisations and these are available on the following page, in their original language.

Working Documents prepared by experts from Member States are published if the author agrees. Documents prepared or endorsed by the Working Group are published after agreement by the members of the Working Group.

A summary record of each meeting is published after it has been agreed by the members participating. These summary records are normally published before the subsequent meeting.

 

 Meetings of the Working Group on the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB WG)

meeting

date

13

14-15/04/2008

12

10-11-12/12/2007

11

27-28/09/2007

10

13/03/2007

9

12-13/12/2006

8

12/09/2006

7

01-02/06/2006

6

09/03/2006

5

07-08/12/2005

4

23/09/2005

3

02/06/2005

2

10/03/2005

1

23/11/2004

 

Workshop on the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), 20 October 2010