Exclusive Exclusive: E.U. Commission to Force Companies to Publish Tax Liabilities

The European Commission plans to propose a draft law that could force companies to publicly release their earnings and tax liability by country. The E.U.’s executive arm aims to present proposals to that effect in the early summer, high-ranking E.U. sources told Handelsblatt. The move is part of a wider crackdown by the European Union and other countries on multinational companies that have long exploited international loopholes to avoid paying much of their corporate tax bill. E.U. Commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Thursday will present the first outline of a new E.U. law on curbing tax avoidance, implementing part of an “action plan” for wealthy countries that was drawn up by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD. The basic idea is for companies to pay taxes in the country where they produce goods and post revenues, rather than where they are headquartered. The commission also plans to go a step further than the OECD in some areas. For example, the Brussels institution will propose an “exit tax” that would discourage companies from moving the operations of divisions or even entire companies to countries with lower tax burdens. Mr. Moscovici’s legislative proposal this week will not include all of the commission’s plans. Thursday’s proposal will require companies to alert finance ministries of their revenues and tax liabilities, but not release the results publicly.   Read the full story in Wednesday’s Handelsblatt Global Edition at 12:00 Central European Time.