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Exceeding OECD tax avoidance recommendations could harm EU competitiveness

Insurance Europe has commented on the European Commission’s anti-tax avoidance package and the upcoming common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) proposal. Insurance Europe said that the insurance sector supports the objective of tackling tax avoidance and abusive tax practices, and the creation of a level playing field for all businesses.

It believes that the outcome of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) action plan should be implemented in the EU in a coordinated fashion through the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive. To do so would avoid unilateral differentiation between member states.

Insurance Europe warned that any additional requirements that go beyond the OECD’s recommendations would not necessarily combat aggressive tax planning, harmful tax regimes and tax fraud, but may potentially harm the competitiveness of the EU. Therefore, any such measures should be subject to an impact assessment.

In addition, EU tax proposals should be in line with the OECD outcomes which will be implemented in other (non-EU) jurisdictions, to ensure consistency in the scope and timing of proposed measures. A competitive disadvantage would otherwise exist compared to non-EU jurisdictions, which would penalise European companies and be harmful for future investments in the EU.

Insurance Europe also took the opportunity to comment on a number of outstanding issues of great importance to the insurance sector. These relate, in particular, to the treatment of hybrid regulatory capital and rules for controlled foreign companies.

Published 7 March 2016
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