We were aware about the imminence of QMV, based on the messages sent in the last years by the Commission, and even by the European Parliament representatives, in relation with the revolutionary CCCTB process, and lately the digital taxation.
As tax professionals acting in the field of cross border transactions, we regard these tax issues as an aggressive way of removing the old and valuable market-based (arm’s length) principles, to be replaced by an administrative approach regarding the profit allocation between Member States. It’s not hard to imagine why it takes so long to gather unanimity around measures which will dramatic change the national taxation systems, eroding the local competitive framework. The small economies, especially those dependent on transfer of technologies for covering the development gap, need to be convinced that there is a way to compensate CCCTB in order to attract value-added investments, since the local fiscal policy attributes are more and more transferred to the EU level.
However, instead of presenting the big picture, the Commission choses to present CCCTB unilaterally just as a measure which ”would deliver unprecedented simplicity, ease of business and legal certainty for companies, while also ensuring that multinationals paid a fair share of tax proportionate to where they generate their profits. However, the CCCTB remains on the negotiable table in the Council, as Member States continue to try to unanimously agree on the future of corporate taxation” (Commission Communication, 15.01.19). But again, this reluctant attitude from some member states is not so … inexplicable.
The fact is, when is perceived as fair, when is well explained and understand, a good measure doesn’t really need the QMV to be adopted. By acknowledging that ATAD was achieved by unanimity, the Commission is immediately adding that the adoption “was fuelled by the public and political reaction to high-profile tax scandals, rather by a common vision on how EU tax policy should advance”. We don’t see any contradiction here, as long any vision/the best vision needs … the public final approval.
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