Brian Hayes, Fine Gael MEP, has said that big multinational companies need to work with new country by country proposals, that will come from the European Commission this week.
“Big multinationals in Europe need to realise that country by country reporting is going to happen. They need to work with the new proposals coming from the European Commission and make sure that they comply with the new disclosure rules.
“Tax transparency is becoming increasingly important as we have seen with the Panama papers. I believe that country by country reporting should be made public, as long as it is fair and is in the public interest. It would not be right for small or medium sized companies to be subject to stringent public reporting obligations. However, for large multinationals that have a significant impact on the European economy, public country by country reporting may be needed.
“The Panama papers revealed that there is a huge global propensity to move wealth to offshore locations to avoid paying normal rates of tax. Country by country reporting will help to prevent such tax evasion.
“I also welcome the fact that the new Commission proposal will require companies in the EU to declare their activity in countries they operate in outside of the EU. Country by country reporting will now require disclosure in off-shore destinations.
“At the end of last year, Ireland was one of the first countries to put in place legislation on country by country reporting, which complies with recent OECD guidelines. Multinationals in Ireland now have to submit a country by country report to Revenue on an annual basis.
“It is very likely that the European Commission will go much further than the Irish legislation and more public disclosure will be required for multinationals operating in Ireland. We have to be prepared for this legislation and make our voice heard to ensure that a fair and proportionate outcome emerges for businesses in Ireland.”