The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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Costly, Complex and Counterproductive: The Case Against a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base

How proposed changes to corporation tax will damage the UK economy by reducing GDP by £73 billion and cutting future investment in Britain by £58.4 billion over 10 years

Damon Lambert

costly complex and counterproductive the case against a common consolidated corporate tax base

The Bruges Group has produced a groundbreaking study analysing the EU's attempt to control business taxation via its Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) initiative.

It is a classic EU policy, which the European Commission hopes will create a pan-European tax regime, a one-size-fits-none approach that benefits the bureaucrats at the cost of the ordinary taxpayer.

In the paper - Costly, Complex and Counterproductive: The Case Against a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base - the Bruges Group exposes the implications of the the EU’s latest tax power grab. It will;

    Drive-up the rate of business taxation
    It will effectively increase the UK ‘s rate of corporation tax in relation to other states in the EU; driving investment away from Britain to states with lower levels of tax.

    Damaging GDP
    It will have the effect of reducing the GDP of the fragile UK economy by £73 billion over 10 years, equal to each UK inhabitant paying £1,200 each or the equivalent of British taxpayers having to pay an extra 1.5p in the basic rate of income tax for each of those years. Otherwise the Government will lose revenue; increasing the UK’s debt level by £28 billion.

    Force businesses to leave the UK
    Brussels plan to control corporation tax would also harm the business environment in Britain. It will force up corporate tax bills, greatly add to tax complexity, massively increase the administrative burden and force more UK businesses to join the 'Taxodus' and leave Britain. Furthermore, the CCCTB will mean that Britain shall lose an estimated total of £58.4 billion of investment over 10 years as the apportionment basis it requires will work against the UK.

Robert Oulds, the Director of the Bruges Group, says,
“This policy is being pushed for by the governments of France and Germany, who instead of cutting their own levels of taxation to create growth, are using the European Union to undermine countries that have lower levels of taxation; particularly Ireland and the states of New Europe.

"At this time of great economic uncertainty, both for businesses and for governments, now is certainly not the time to force Britain to introduce a new system of taxation for businesses and risk gambling with our future."

Damon Lambert, author of the paper, says,
"EU control over corporation tax will only make the UK even less competitive and attractive for capital investment at a time when businesses are leaving the UK for tax regimes that enable, rather than impede, cross-border investment. Already, there are arguments developing that there should be a minimum corporate tax rate; but predictably, there are no such plans to introduce a maximum corporate tax rate.

“This paper shows that the European Commission’s claim that the CCCTB will cut down paperwork is a myth. Its complex apportionment basis will require much information and calculations that only fit the CCCTB’s purpose.

“It will make investment decisions inherently complex. The lack of thought in its development is best shown by the fact that simple modelling proves that its strongest advocates, the high tax Member States, would actually lose tax revenues and further deter investment if the CCCTB was implemented!”

About the Author
Damon Lambert is the UK Corporate Tax Director of a major European Bank. Previously, he worked for 11 years in KPMG’s financial sector practice where he specialised in advising on mergers and acquisitions, primarily for financial sector multinationals. The advice he provided to clients included amongst other issues the impact of the EU and the ECJ on UK tax law. Damon is a qualified Chartered Accountant. He regularly writes on European tax matters and was a member of the working party on the Tax Reform Commission instigated by George Osborne, co-authoring the chapters on business taxation and tax reforms in other jurisdictions.

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