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Tax experts question EU transparency plan

13 April 2016

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has said that allowing the public to see the country-by-country reporting records of companies operating in the EU is not enough to counter growing global skepticism about the fairness of the tax system.

The EU is proposing that firms with more than €750m in sales disclose how much tax they pay in which EU countries, as well as any activities in specific offshore financial centres.

Christian Aid feels that the EU plans to force mutli-nationals to reveal more about their financial affairs will do little to stop firms’ rampant tax abuse.

Professor Crawford Spence, of Warwick Business School, said that the latest initiative is a small but important step towards ensuring these big companies pay their fair share of tax. However, he went on to say that companies could be transparent about paying very little tax yet continue not to pay it. For him transparency is a necessary condition for reform of the tax system. Without it, he felt it would be impossible to shame companies into paying more.

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