Ireland would lose key tax controls under new EU tax policy, say Irish accountancy bodies

Jan 15, 2019

The European Commission’s latest proposal to change the manner in which direct tax policy is decided to a qualified majority vote system would benefit large Member States but would put small Member States like Ireland at a distinct disadvantage, according to The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies Ireland (CCAB-I) . 

President of member body Chartered Accountants Ireland, Feargal McCormack said:

Irish tax sovereignty is inextricably linked to the right of this country to veto an EU tax policy measure which is not in our national interests.  The matter of Irish tax sovereignty was a core factor in the referendum in Ireland for the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.”

Many citizens in Ireland voted to support the Lisbon Treaty on the understanding that tax sovereignty is protected by the system of unanimous vote on tax matters and the basis on which the Irish ratified that Treaty cannot now be disregarded by the EU.  This understanding is expressed in the Protocol on the concerns of the Irish people on the Treaty of Lisbon, signed at Brussels on 13 June 2012.”

Any attempts by the EU to change to a qualified majority vote system on tax matters will create distrust among small states like Ireland, given the fact that national tax sovereignty has been publically debated during EU Treaty referendums. 

It is unacceptable that the European Commission would put forward such a divisive proposal at a time when unity is essential among Member States as we lose one of our largest members, the UK. 

It is also unacceptable that the European Commission would seek to change the manner in which tax policy is agreed when time and time again small countries like Ireland have stated their opposition to measures such as the CCCTB and EU digital tax.  Ireland and similar states should be afforded the right to veto these proposals if they are not in the national interest of the State. 

The CCAB-I believes that the integrity of the European Union is damaged each time a measure which seeks to diminish the rights of smaller Member States is even considered. This is the wrong direction to take European tax policy.


Notes to Editors:

About CCAB-I

The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies – Ireland is the representative committee for the main accountancy bodies in Ireland. It comprises Chartered Accountants Ireland, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland, and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.

Reference: Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland

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