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Juncker Quizzed On Luxembourg Tax Rulings

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

17 November 2014

Jean-Claude Junker has tasked the new European Tax Commissioner with drawing up proposals for the automatic exchange of information on national tax rulings.

Juncker, the President of the European Commission, told the European Parliament on November 12 that Pierre Moscovici will prepare the plans.

Juncker took part in an extraordinary parliamentary debate on tax avoidance, prompted by the leaked publication by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) of more than 500 advance tax decisions issued by the Luxembourg tax authorities between 2002 and 2010. The President said that the rulings were not illegal, but acknowledged that "there probably was a certain amount of tax avoidance in Luxembourg, as in other EU countries."

According to Juncker, "we find this everywhere in Europe because there is insufficient tax harmonization in Europe."

Juncker also appeared at a daily press briefing on November 12, where he told reporters that he was "politically responsible for what happened in each and every corner and quarter" of Luxembourg. He added that "everything that has been done has been in compliance with national legislation and international rules that apply in this matter."

Juncker served as Prime Minister of Luxembourg between 1995 and 2013, and Finance Minister from 1989 to 2009.

The Luxembourg Finance Ministry has said that the rulings issued "are compliant with national, European, and international law."

TAGS: compliance | Finance | tax | European Commission | tax avoidance | tax incentives | law | Luxembourg | ministry of finance | tax authority | legislation | tax planning | transfer pricing | tax rates | revenue statistics | Europe | Invest | Tax

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