The Republic of Ireland has been urged to keep an open mind on new plans for a common EU corporate tax base.
The plans are expected to be unveiled as early as next month and will be discussed by the European Commission today, Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said yesterday.
The so-called Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) proposal was heavily debated several years ago and was intended to provide a single set of rules that companies operating within the EU could use to calculate their taxable profits. Ireland was not in favour of the plans.
Mr Moscovici suggested that Ireland's concerns have been taken into account in the crafting of the "new approach" to the CCCTB proposal.
"It is no secret to me that CCCTB is not Ireland's favourite proposal," Mr Moscovici said. "But I would urge Ireland to keep an open mind. We have listened carefully to member states' expectations on the concerns of CCCTB and on corporate tax in general, and I want to make sure that our new approach will reflect this."
Mr Moscovici said the action plan is being finalised. The Commissioner's comments came as German newspaper 'Handelsblatt' reported that Europe was considering imposing a minimum tax rate on companies across the EU. It said the plan was favoured by Germany and France, but opposed by smaller states, including Ireland and Luxembourg.
However, both the Republic's Department of Finance and the European Commission dismissed the story as incorrect.
Much of Ireland's success in attracting foreign direct investment has been attributed to its low corporation tax rate of 12.5% - so much so that Northern Ireland business people have fought a long campaign to have the freedom to set its own low rate.