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Malta's Minister of Finance, Edward Scicluna, has expressed disappointment that the proposed EU Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive was not accompanied by an impact assessment for member states.
Speaking at the ECOFIN meeting of EU Finance Ministers in Brussels, he said that such an impact assessment is necessary, including to measure the impact on EU states' tax bases if other countries do not adopt the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) recommendations.
He said that the reasons put forward in the Commission's report for not having such an impact assessment were not satisfactory. The Maltese Government now intends to undertake its own assessment, specific to the territory.
The Minister added that if the Council really wants to make rapid progress, it should focus on those blatant cases of tax evasion and not interfere with domestic issues with little or no effect on BEPS. He stated that Malta is supportive of measures aimed at preventing corporate tax avoidance. The Minister, however, cautioned that certain elements in the corporate tax package go beyond what is necessary to prevent abuse and to achieve this objective.
The Minister also drew attention to the risk that some aspects of the proposal could have a negative impact on the competitiveness of the EU and its member states.
In conclusion, Scicluna told the meeting that the Council's experience with the Financial Transactions Tax has shown that it would be more important to direct the Council's effort on "quality" work rather than just "haste."
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