Out-Law News

European Parliament to set up tax avoidance committee

The European Parliament is to set up a special committee to look at tax ruling practices in EU member states. 

The committee will look into "tax rulings and other measures similar in nature and effect" going back to 1 January 1991 and make recommendations for the future. It will review the way that the European Commission treats state aid in member states and the extent to which they are transparent about their tax rulings, and look at the impact of aggressive tax planning on public finances.

The move comes in the wake of a series on investigations by the commission into tax rulings for multinational companies in Luxembourg, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Tax expert Heather Self of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: "The work of the EU Commission in examining state aid cases in relation to tax is at a relatively early stage, and this committee may give useful guidance on how that work should be carried out in future.  However, businesses rely on rulings to give certainty – it is important that this is not undermined by raking over the details of events which took place as far back as 1991."

The European Parliament has published a list of the 45 members of the committee, which will operate for six months initially.

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