EU: Multinationals Grilled at TAXE Meeting

Representatives from Apple, Google, Ikea and McDonald’s were questioned on their tax structures in Europe at a special hearing of the European Parliament’s special committee on tax on Tuesday, March 15, in Brussels. The MEPs also asked on feedback on specific areas of BEPS project.

Feedback on BEPS and CCCTB

At the meeting, multinationals shared their views on the proposed base erosion and profit shifting directive (BEPS). TAXE committee specifically asked about the proposed requirement for country-by-country reporting of profits, taxes and subsidies and whether such information should be made public. The views on anticipated common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) were also exchanged.

Google, Apple, Inter-IKEA Group and McDonald’s say they would welcome more clarity and certainty about their tax liabilities in the EU, but they are concerned about the administrative compliance costs and reluctant to see tax data being made public.

Tax Structures of Multinationals

Second part of a meeting, was a more intense debate concerning tax structures of multinationals, such as Google's “Bermuda” structure, IKEA's “royalties” one, Apple's tax arrangements in Ireland and McDonalds' franchises. European authorities have been investigating whether multinationals received tax breaks that would be considered “state aid.”

“We make use of tax incentives, tax structures that are well known, that are widely accessible and used by most multinationals,” said Adam Cohen, head of economic policy for Google in Europe.

See the video recordings from the morning and afternoon meetings:

  1. Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect - meeting 15/03/2016 (AM)
  2. Special Committee on Tax Rulings and Other Measures Similar in Nature or Effect - meeting 15/03/2016 (PM)

Sources: European Parliament - Press Release, The Wall Street Journal, TechTimes

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