Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Finance
68. To ask the Minister for Finance the extent to which he remains satisfied that taxation matters remain within the competence of national governments throughout the European Union and that no decisions are taken to jeopardise same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17647/21]
As the Deputy will be aware tax sovereignty is an important issue for Ireland.
Ireland believes that the current unanimity based voting procedure which applies among EU Member States is the most appropriate voting system in the area of taxation. Indeed, over the last 4 years, over 20 taxation initiatives have been agreed by Member States through this voting process. This is an average of one initiative being agreed every 3 months. This includes important Directives on VAT, administrative co-operation, Anti-Tax-Avoidance and also the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions.
Given this impressive record of achieving agreement at EU level on tax issues, I do not see the need to move away from the requirement for unanimity, which has worked so well to date. For example, most recently, the seventh iteration of the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC7) to introduce new exchange of information provisions for digital platforms was only proposed by the Commission last July, agreed among Member States in December, and was adopted on March 22.
Ireland’s tax sovereignty is an important issue for Irish citizens. In the run up to the Lisbon Treaty referendum, EU leaders made a public political commitment confirming that the Treaty did not impinge on Member States’ tax sovereignty, and I believe that this commitment was a significant factor in the people's decision to accept the Treaty.
The Programme for Government affirms that taxation is a national competence. Ireland has been consistently clear that unanimity is the appropriate voting system for any tax proposals at EU level, and I am confident that this will remain the case.