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France hopes for EU corporate tax deal by mid 2019

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday he wanted to get other EU countries to sign up to a Franco-German proposal to harmonise corporate tax rules by mid 2019.

Le Maire and his German counterpart Olaf Scholz last month agreed a joint proposal for corporate tax harmonisation among EU member states, known as a common corporate tax base.

“Our objective is that this common Franco-German basis becomes a European common basis,” Le Maire told a French parliamentary commission on tax fraud.

“So we are lobbying our European partners to get, I hope by summer 2019, a harmonisation of the corporate tax base among the 27 (EU countries),” he added.

France and Germany have long struggled to build support for harmonising corporate tax rules in Europe in the face of resistance from others.

Countries such as Ireland, which has a lower tax regime that has helped it attract businesses, fear any such move could be a first step towards harmonising tax rates.

The European Commission proposed a voluntary common consolidated corporate tax base in 2011, but it ran into opposition back then from countries like Britain and Ireland.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Myriam Rivet; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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