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ECIPE Seminar: Corporate Tax Out of Control? Debating EU Tax Protectionism and the Digital Services Tax

February 21 2019
Venue: ECIPE Office, Avenue des Arts 40, 6th floor, 1040 Brussels
Speakers: Matthias Bauer, Ralph Bruegelmann, Andreas Hellmann
Time: 12:00

Join us for a discussion about tax competitiveness, tax protectionism and government accountability in the EU.

Do European corporations pay their fair share of tax? Many companies headquartered in France, Germany, Italy and Spain show very low effective corporate tax rates (ECTRs). Their effective tax rates are often much lower than those of digital corporations, including the largest tech companies headquartered in the United States.

The high level of variation in what companies really pay in taxes demonstrates that EU governments de facto encourage large European companies to save taxes.

Join us for a discussion about tax competitiveness, tax protectionism and government accountability in the EU. We will address the following questions:

  • Why do EU governments actively encourage EU-headquartered companies to lawfully reduce their global tax bills?
  • Would new special taxes on digital services companies help mitigating the central problems of Member States’ corporate tax codes?
  • Why do many policymakers support tax “penalties” for some of the world’s most innovative companies, despite the adverse implications for individuals and businesses that use their services (aka the tax incidence)?
  • What needs to be done to break the historical pattern that complexity in corporate taxation breeds further tax complexity?
  • Who’s really in control of corporate tax rules? Tax officials or elected lawmakers?
Register for this event


Presentation of ECIPE / EPiCENTER study “Corporate Tax Out of Control: EU Tax Protectionism and the Digital Services Tax” by Matthias Bauer, Senior Economist, European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), Brussels


Andreas Hellmann, International Program Manager Tax Reform, Americans for Tax Reform, Washington D.C.

Ralph Bruegelmann, Senior Manager Tax Policy, Federation of German Industries (BDI)


Adam Bartha, Director of EPiCENTER, Brussels