Tax haven Malta delays negotiations on corporate taxation

Tax justice is obviously not a priority for the new Maltese EU Council Presidency

Malta assumed the so-called Council Presidency as of January 2017. She decides, which EU legislative proposals will be debated by the ministers of the 28 Member States in Brussels. Negotiations on tax justice are not on Malta’s list of priorities. This is little surprising: after all, Malta herself is a country that is extremely generous to corporations.

Malta helps corporations in avoiding paying tax

Whilst many EU countries lack the funds to combat poverty and social exclusion, some EU states, such as Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Malta, are actively helping corporations to generate almost tax free profits. In the case of Malta, revenue from royalties, which are transferred via the Island state, are hardly being taxed. Apart from that, a report of the Greens in the European Parliament found that dividends enjoy a 85 % tax rebate. This enables multinationals to save billions of euros in corporate tax, when they channel licence transactions and dividend payments through Malta. Even the European Commission admits that Malta belongs to the Top 4 EU tax havens.

Fairer corporate taxation not a priority in the coming 6 months

The Maltese EU Council Presidency completely omits tax issues on its list of priorities. And yet, there would be some undertakings, which should be implemented without delay. The EU Commission for example, plans the publication of a Black List for tax havens outside the EU. Furthermore, progress in the negotiations concerning corporate taxation (a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base and the so-called country-by-country reporting on the business activities of multinationals) are also urgently required.

The European Parliament has invited the Maltese Finance Minister to attend an exchange of views in the Economic Affairs Committee and in the Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering on 26 January. However, it is more than uncertain whether Malta can be persuaded to deal with the problematic issues of tax havens during her EU Council Presidency.

Let’s put pressure on the EU Prime and Finance Ministers

Malta’s behaviour shows once more how important it is to put public pressure on the Prime and Finance Ministers: the Ministers have to actively support tax justice and reject tax havens during the negotiations on corporate taxation.

We therefore ask you to support our campaign Stop corporations using tax tricks!