EU intends to harmonise policies on corporate tax
THE EU intends to plough ahead with bringing national tax policies closer into line -- despite the Irish Government's reservations.
The EU's internal market chief, Michel Barnier, set out a 50-point plan yesterday to revitalise the single market.
It includes moves to consolidate corporate-tax bases and "profoundly re-examine" the EU's rules on VAT.
Detailed legislation will be published next year.
The commission estimates that it costs businesses €12.8bn to comply with differing corporate tax laws.
The plan stresses that the EU is not seeking to harmonise rates of corporate tax, but to create a common way of calculating taxable profit for larger companies.
"Groups will have only one set of tax rules to follow and will have to deal with only one tax administration in the EU," according to the paper.
The EU's economics chief Olli Rehn -- who will visit Ireland next week --- recently raised the spectre of a hike in corporate tax rates here when he said Ireland could no longer continue as a "low-tax country".
However, a spokesman for Mr Rehn said yesterday that he would not be "imposing" any policies on the Government during his Dublin visit and would be in "listening mode".
The commissioner will also meet opposition leaders and Central Bank officials while he is in Dublin.