19 Feb 2020

Reflections on the EU objectives in addressing aggressive tax planning and harmful tax practices

Andrea Renda / Felice Simonelli / Willem Pieter De Groen / Nadina Iacob / Alexandra Campmas

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This Report analyses the EU’s instruments to tackle aggressive tax planning and harmful tax practices. Based on desk research, interviews with stakeholders and expert assessments, it considers the coherence, relevance, and added value of the EU’s approach. The instruments under analysis are found to be internally coherent and consistent with other EU policies and with the international tax agenda, in particular with the OECD/G20 BEPS framework. The Report also confirms the continued relevance of most of the original needs and problems addressed by the EU’s initiatives in the field of tax avoidance. There is also EU added value in having common EU instruments in the field to bolster coordination and harmonise the implementation of tax measures. One cross-cutting issue identified is the impact of digitalisation on corporate taxation. Against this background, the Report outlines potential improvements to the EU tax strategy such as: making EU tax systems fit for the digital era; leading the international debate on tax avoidance; enabling capacity building in Member States and developing countries; strengthening tax good governance in third countries; ensuring a consistent approach at home and abroad; achieving a level playing field for all companies; and increasing tax certainty and legal certainty.

This report can also be downloaded from the Publications Office of the European Union website.