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Varadkar Against Unilateral EU Action On Tax

by Jason Gorringe, Tax-News.com, London

18 January 2018


Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has said that the EU "should not give advantages" to its competitors by "acting unilaterally" on tax.

Varadkar made the comments during a speech to the European Parliament on January 17.

Varadkar said that corporations "should pay their fair share of tax," and that governments cannot "tolerate a situation in which large companies can avoid paying any taxes anywhere."

Varadkar said that Ireland has taken steps to close loopholes in its tax laws, and "will do more." However, he emphasized that his government "strongly believe this should be done on an international basis through the OECD."

"Europe should not give advantages to our competitors by acting unilaterally."

In September 2017, the European Commission published its vision for the "fair taxation" of the digital economy. At the time, it noted that the OECD will in early 2018 present an interim report on the taxation of the digital economy, but stressed that the EU should focus on EU-specific solutions if progress at international level proves too slow.

Varadkar also outlined his views on the prospect of greater tax harmonization within the EU. He said that Europe must be competitive economically, and that one way for ensuring this is to have competition among EU member states.

"My strong view is that national taxes that fund national budgets should be determined by national parliaments and governments," he explained.

TAGS: tax | European Commission | Ireland | law | budget | Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) | corporation tax | transfer pricing | tax rates | tax reform | European Union (EU) | Europe | BEPS

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