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Efficient taxation of multi-national enterprises in the European Union. Bruges European Economic Policy (BEEP) Briefing 5/2003

Micossi, Stefano and Parascandolo, Paola and Triberti, Barbara (2003) Efficient taxation of multi-national enterprises in the European Union. Bruges European Economic Policy (BEEP) Briefing 5/2003. [Policy Paper]

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    Current arrangements for multi-national company taxation in EU are plagued by severe conceptual and administrative problems, leading to high compliance costs, considerable uncertainty and ample room for abuse. Integration is amplifying these difficulties. There are two possible approaches in designing an efficient trans-border corporate tax system for the European Union. The first is to consolidate the EU-wide operations of MNEs, using an agreed common base as the reference variable, and then to apportion this total tax base using some presumptive indicators of activity in each tax jurisdiction – hence, implicitly, of the likely benefits stemming from each location. The apportionment formula should respect requisites of neutrality between productive factors and forms of corporate financing. A radically different approach is also available that offers considerable advantages in terms of efficiency, simplicity and decentralisation, including full administrative autonomy of national tax authorities. It entails abandoning corporate income as the relevant tax base and taxing at a moderate rate some agreed measure of business activity such as company value added, sales or employment. These are the variables usually considered in formula apportionment, but they would apply directly without having first to go through the complications of EU-wide consolidation based on a common-base definition. Reference to a broad base, with no exemptions or deductions, would allow to set low statutory rates.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > tax policy
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > College of Europe (Brugge) > Bruges European Economic Policy Briefings (BEEP)
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2014 14:36
    Number of Pages: 17
    Last Modified: 17 Dec 2014 14:36

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