On Wednesday16 March 2011 the EU Commission published a proposal to introduce a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). A few days earlier, on Friday 11 March, the heads of state of the Euro area almost agreed on a « Pact for the Euro » to save the common currency from financial meltdown and come to the rescue of delinquent members (an agreement that subsequently came unstitched). These two events did not appear to be linked, except in timing. But they both illustrated, each in their own way, what one could call the EU’s « Icarus Complex ».
The European Commission has recently relaunched the proposal for a common system for calculating the tax base of businesses operating in the EU. According to the officials, the aim is to significantly reduce the administrative burden, compliance costs and legal uncertainties that businesses in the EU currently face in having to comply with up to 27 different national systems for determining their taxable profits.