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IP/06/448

Brussels, 5 April 2006

Company Taxation: Towards a common consolidated corporate tax base, the European Commission presents a progress report and outlines the next steps.

Encouraging progress is being made by the Commission led expert working group on the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). The CCCTB will enable companies to follow the same rules for calculating the tax base for all their EU-wide activities, thereby removing many of the tax obstacles to companies operating across the Internal Market. It will increase companies' efficiency, improve their competitiveness and significantly reduce their compliance costs (see IP/04/1091) and general administrative burdens. Member States will retain full sovereignty over their tax revenues as they will continue to set their own national tax rates. The European Commission plans to present its legislative proposal in 2008.

“I am very pleased with the work already achieved by the working group and thank the Member States for their active participation and input" László Kovács, the Commissioner for taxation and customs, said. "I’m also very encouraged by the support that the project recently received from the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee. The CCCTB will eliminate existing fiscal obstacles throughout the European Union and will help companies to improve their competitiveness, and will support economic growth and the creation of more jobs.”

Why a Common Consolidated Tax Base?

The CCCTB constitutes a comprehensive solution to tackle in one go all the company tax obstacles arising when companies carry out cross border activities within the Internal Market.

Indeed, in addition to reducing compliance costs for companies operating across the Internal Market, the CCCTB would resolve transfer pricing problems, simplify many international restructuring operations and avoid many situations of double taxation. It would contribute to greater simplicity and transparency in the 25 existing company tax systems, thereby promoting fair and open tax competition within the European Union. The European Commission has no intention to link the CCCTB with any proposal to harmonise tax rates.

Drawing attention to up to-date conclusions

The Commission’s Communication on CCCTB reports encouraging progress to-date made by the working group. However, it draws attention to those areas where further political support is desirable from Member States. The introduction of a simple and transparent common tax base will necessarily involve each Member State making some changes. This is a challenging exercise and if it is to be achieved a strong commitment from Member States and their technical experts will be required.

The main conclusions of the Communication are:

  • The CCCTB should be simple and uniform with as few as possible exceptions;
  • The tax base should be consolidated and optional for companies;
  • The rules for calculating the CCCTB should be self-standing and not formally linked to the international accounting standards (IAS/IFRS);
  • The current approach of working in close cooperation with Member States experts, business and academia is the most effective;

Background

The CCCTB working group was created in September 2004 after receiving political support at an informal ECOFIN meeting to start working on the technical aspects of the CCCTB. It is composed of experts from the European Commission and the Member States, but is extended on an ad-hoc basis to experts from business and academia. The working group meets quarterly and its work is fully transparent and can be followed via a series of dedicated web-pages which contain details of the meetings and the working documents.

Experts from all Member States participate in the working group, without prejudice to the political position of their governments.
Further information on the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base is available on the following website:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/company_tax/common_tax_base/index_en.htm


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