The method of not wasting a crisis is well known. Declare that something must be done, that something quite possibly unrelated but something you wanted to do anyway. Thus it is with tax laws and the Paradise Papers:
Pierre Moscovici, the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, blamed the inability of countries to agree on a common set of corporate rules for the “aggressive” tax planning policies of some companies.
He said a tax avoidance scandal exposed in the Paradise Papers last week could have been avoided had member states adopted the commission’s proposals, including a common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB) which Ireland strongly opposes. Yesterday, Mr Moscovici set out a new timeframe which called for agreement to be reached by the end of next year — two years early.
We are all terribly surprised, aren't we? As is being pointed out, this isn't really about offshore at all:
“Commissioner Moscovici’s comments regarding the causal link between a lack of common corporate tax practices across the EU and the recently exposed tax optimisation schemes as outlined in the Paradise Papers don’t stack up. None of the jurisdictions referenced in the Paradise Papers are members of the EU, and are not subject to the rules governing the union.”
What this is really about is the distaste, hatred even, of the tax collectors for tax competition. All of the rest of us, of course, should be in favour of the competition. For we do all agree that monopolies are a bad thing for us out here, don't we? So it is if all governments shake the same amount out of our wallets - that denies us the right of exit. Leaving and paying nothing being one of the most obvious methods of reducing the demands being made.
We actively desire tax competition therefore, not these attempts to abolish it.