On 2 December the European Parliament agreed to establish a TAXE II Committee, following the end of the mandate of the first TAXE Committee upon the adoption of its draft report by the Plenary on 25 November …
On 2 December the European Parliament agreed to establish a TAXE II Committee, following the end of the mandate of the first TAXE Committee upon the adoption of its draft report by the Plenary on 25 November. The vote follows an agreement of the Conference of Presidents (Political Groups of the European Parliament), which endorsed the establishment of a new TAXE Committee to notably continue the work of the previous one and to monitor progress in the application of the recommendations set up by the original TAXE Committee’s draft report. The final result of the vote was overwhelmingly in favour, with 561 MEPs endorsing, only 69 opposing and 5 abstentions.
The TAXE II Committee will have the following features:
- Length of mandate: period of 6 months starting 02/12/2015;
- Composition: 45 MEPs – like the original TAXE Committee
- Structure: same structure as the original TAXE Committee
- Outcome: to put forward a resolution or a report drafted by two co-rapporteurs to sum up the new Committee’s work (as was the case with the original TAXE Committee)
In other words, de facto this constitutes an extension of the old TAXE Committee, however with a slightly different mandate. Overall, the mandate covers the main dimensions of the first TAXE Committee’s work but now includes further “powers” of inquiry, monitoring progress on the previous Committee’s recommendations, and gathering further evidence (documents, public hearings) of tax practices by Member States, third countries as well as the private sector. Of particular interest, the VAT dimension is missing altogether, much to the disappointment of the EPP Group which was pushing hard to include it in the new Committee’s mandate. This means that corporate tax will remain the main focus of the Committee in the next six months to come.
MEPs of the TAXE II Committee will notably look into arranging a public hearing with Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and the Eurogroup leader Jeroen Dijssebloem in order to get further answers on the tax practices of Luxembourg and the Netherlands, respectively.
- Build on and complete the work of the TAXE Committee;
o Access documents relevant for its work such as minutes of the Code of Conduct Group meetings (MEPs have been asking this in order to know which Member States have been blocking what in the Group)
o Hold hearings with international, European and national institutions and fora, as well as with national parliaments and governments of Member States and third countries, representatives from the academic community, business and civil society;
o Follow up the implementation of the recommendations of the previous TAXE Committee
- Examine practice in the application of EU State Aid and taxation law on “tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect” issued by Member States;
- Examine “harmful corporate tax regimes and practices” at European and international levels;
- Analyse and assess “aggressive tax planning” carried out by companies;
- To make any recommendations that are deemed necessary.