Majority of FDs oppose EU tax harmonisation

More than 60% of finance directors oppose controversial plans for European Union tax harmonisation.

The findings in this week’s Big Question, carried out by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel, followed a storm of controversy last week, after Germany’s finance minister urged fellow ministers to harmonise corporation tax and pass measures which could abolish 85 business low-tax schemes, including ten in the UK.

Of the 234 FDs questioned, 61% rejected the EU proposals. John Rae, of medical equipment manufacturer Penlon, said: ‘Harmonisation will mean movement towards the highest tax, not the lowest. If this happens, where is the incentive to reduce taxes?’

Andrew Emmerson, of Bellway Homes, said: ‘The logical reasoning is that no matter what we like to think, every country has its own economic circumstances. The reactionary response is that people in central Europe should sort their countries out first.’

One FD, who asked to remain anonymous, was more candid. ‘I don’t like this to be driven by Brussels.’

Only 24% of FDs backed the drive for European tax harmonisation.

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