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EU presidency sees no progress on common tax base

  European Union finance ministers are not expected to discuss in coming months the introduction of a common tax base for companies that operate across borders, the bloc’s president said on Wednesday.

“I don’t think it’s going to be on the agenda of the Czech presidency,” Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, whose country holds the rotating stewardship of the bloc, told the European Parliament.

Ireland is fiercely opposed to a common tax base for companies in Europe. Fears that such a tax base would be introduced were one of the reasons the country voted against the EU’s Lisbon reform treaty.

Ireland is expected to hold a second referendum on the treaty in the second half of the year after obtaining reassurances no tax changes would be imposed on it.

The Czech presidency ends in June. EU Tax Commissioner László Kovács has delayed proposing a common corporate tax base despite calls from many international companies. Corporate tax rates would still be left to individual member states. (Reuters)