Commission’s proposal to change tax voting system puts small countries at a disadvantage says CCAB-I

Jan 21, 2019

Chartered Accountants Ireland under the auspices of the CCAB-I provided feedback to a road map communication issued by the European Commission in December on a proposal to change the unanimous system of voting on tax policy to a qualified majority system.  The Commission’s plans to push for a change in the voting system for tax policy were formally published last week.

The Communication suggests a targeted transition to qualified majority voting (QMV) under the ordinary legislative procedure for the purposes of progressing the Commission’s desire to introduce the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) and a new system for the taxation of the digital economy. 

The CCAB-I’s submission, which was also issued as a press release covered in the national media, says that the QMV system would benefit large Member States but would put small Member States like Ireland at a distinct disadvantage. The CCAB-I notes that the Commission’s attempts to introduce the QMV system on tax matters will create distrust among small states like Ireland, given the fact that national tax sovereignty is inextricably linked to the unanimous system of voting and this has been publically debated in Ireland during EU Treaty referendums.