The EU has unveiled a new bill that aims to create greater transparency on tax in Europe.
The proposed legislation comes after a series of revelations about how major firms struck deals with EU countries to pay less tax.
One idea, initially promoted by the OECD, is to automatically exchange information on non-residents.
Officials argue this will help track down those who are not paying their fair share.
“It is really time to reestablish fiscal fairness so that businesses pay what they owe to the public purse….their fair share in the right place,” said EU economic commissioner Pierre Moscovici.
The European Commission hopes new rules will be in place by January first, subject to approval by MEPs and EU governments.
Transparency lobbyists say the proposals aren’t strong enough.
“Companies in the EU should also be required to publish on a country by country basis basic information on their activities. Informations such as the turnover, the taxes they pay, the contributions that they pay to governments in terms of social projects, and the investments,” said Nienke Palstra, a senior policy officer at Transparency International EU.
The European Commission is investigating four countries – Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg – for alleged breach of EU competition rules through the tax deals they offered to multinationals.
The Commission will give its ruling by June.