Richard Carter over at EUObs has pulled out a fascinating story that I haven’t seen reported elsewhere.
It appears that the Commission would like us to know how much of our money is going to central tax collection at an EU level. To this end Michele Schreyer, the Budgets Commissioner (who should have resigned over Eurostat) has made the proposal that "EU and national VAT should appear as separate taxes on the invoices or receipts". Currently nearly three quarters of EU funds come directly from national treasuries
Hiding just under this rather good idea however is the proposal for a “corporate income tax. This alternative would take longest to implement, both from a political and from an administrative perspective, since a political agreement would be needed on the principle of achieving harmonization of the tax base, before setting a minimum rate”.
But have a look here, according to the plans we will have tax harmonisation by 2014, so in ten years, and the process will be long and slow and designed to not upset the horses.
“A fully tax-based system is not realistic at this stage of EU integration and therefore not proposed. The fiscal resource would be introduced progressively as a replacement to the current VAT resource, alongside a more limited GNI resource.
For any of the three options, the pace of progress towards harmonisation and for the technical preparatory work related to the introduction of a new fiscal resource will depend on the underlying political will. The Council is asked to discuss these options before the Commission draws up a roadmap with a view to the introduction, by 2014, of a genuine fiscal own resource”.
If anybody ever again tells you that there are no plans to harmonise European taxes – do direct them to this site.