EuroCommerce, which represents the interests of the retail and wholesale trade in Europe, has said that the differing tax regimes across the European Union are acting as a major cost barrier to cross-border business and to achieving the aspirations of the single market.
Commenting on the publication of the European Commission communication on Business Taxation for the 21st Century, EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren said, “More than quarter of a century after the Single Market was meant to have been completed, businesses still have to confront different tax regimes across the EU."
Modern Tax System
He noted that as the economy moves into an increasingly digital arena, Europe needs a tax system which reflects this shift.
"That is why we want to see taxes being fair and fairly distributed, and also properly reflecting the international and digitalised market in which business operates," he said. "Hence we support EU tax policy being harmonised more internally and aligned internationally with the work of the OECD and G20, to produce a tax system which truly reflects these changes."
EuroCommerce added that businesses need a 'stable and predictable' fiscal regime, and it will be looking to the proposals in the Commissions's communication, which seek to ensure tax fairness, simplicity and enforceability of tax rules, and reflect the reality of the market in the modern age.
'Reduction of tax bureaucracy and costs for small and large companies seeking to operate in the single market will be important for the long-term health of our sector and the economy as a whole,' EuroCommerce said.
The retail and wholesale sector contributes some €183 billion in labour, profit and other direct taxes annually, the group said.