I have abstained on this resolution, while fully agreeing with the need to curb all abuse of tax reimbursement schemes.
However, problems arise when the foreseen measures to end these practices go beyond their objective and are used as a pretext to introduce tax harmonisation.
Enhancing tax transparency and exchange of information in this field must be seen and must be implemented as a proportionate solution in the context to which it applies, as well as in its effects. Member States must be left with their full tax sovereignty.
Indeed, given its potential impact on the integrity of financial markets, the future Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation should include transparent exchange of information on tax refunds and dividend arbitrage.
Such exchange would quite likely show that the larger member states (there’s no need to mention which) have turned a blind eye to such abusive tax practices, despite their scale and consistency over the years. It is difficult to believe the contrary.
Would the ongoing naming and shaming proceedings have been so mild if banks in Cyprus, Greece or Malta were involved in such a scandal?
I don’t think so.