ICC Document & publication

An optional Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base in Europe: implications for businesses worldwide (2007)

In March 2000, the European Council launched the so-called Lisbon Strategy, which sets out the ambitious objective for the EU of becoming, by 2010, the most dynamic and competitive.

An optional Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base in Europe: implications for businesses worldwide (2007)

The core purpose of the CCCTB is to establish a single, consolidated computation of taxable corporate income for businesses operating within the EU that may be adopted at the option of the taxpayer. Such a common tax base will make it possible for businesses to opt for taxation according to a single consolidated corporate tax calculation instead of the multiple national tax bases that now apply.

In March 2000, the European Council launched the so-called Lisbon Strategy, which sets out the ambitious objective for the EU of becoming, by 2010, the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world. The importance of improving taxation policies throughout the EU as a means to achieve the Lisbon goals has been highlighted many times. At present, the existence of 27 different and often incompatible tax systems constitutes a significant obstacle to economic efficiency and the functioning of the internal market. Double taxation, the lack of tax consolidation, tax-related hindrance of business restructuring and enormous compliance costs are just some barriers to a more competitive and open European market.

Removing these obstacles would significantly spur investment and contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the EU economy. For this reason, in October 2001, the Commission presented a new plan for an internal market without tax obstacles, acknowledging that the issue of reforming EU company taxation is crucial for achieving the Lisbon objectives. The technical work on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), however, only commenced in 2004 through the creation of a Commission Working Group in which all Member States participate. As has been stated repeatedly by Commission representatives, it is the firm intention of the Commission to present a legislative proposal during 2008.