Coordinators of the European Parliament's political groups took the decision to ask its political leadership, the Conference of Presidents (European Parliament President and political group leaders), to extend the mandate of its special committee investigating tax issues (TAXE).
The committee was set up in February this year following the LuxLeaks scandal, which revealed that the Luxembourg government had approved schemes to help multinational companies, including Fiat, Amazon and Ikea, reduce their global tax liabilities. Tax evasion and avoidance is estimated to cost EU taxpayers €1 trillion a year.
Greens/EFA group economic and finance spokesperson Sven Giegold welcomed the calls to extend the committee's mandate.
Giegold said, "The investigative work of Parliament's special committee on taxation is not complete. Its work has been obstructed by lack of access to crucial documents, notably from the crucial 'Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation'.
He continued, "Incomplete cooperation by EU governments, the European Commission and multinationals has seriously hampered Parliament's investigation.
The lack of cooperation of member state governments with the TAXE committee was also noted by Anneliese Dodds, Parliament's economic and monetary affairs committee co-rapporteur on tackling aggressive tax avoidance.
She said; "The Parliament can say what it likes on this issue - ultimately, we need action from member states. We saw recently that the UK government led others in opposition to tough new measures to share information about sweetheart tax deals between tax administrations. So much for its commitment to tax justice."
The calls to extend the mandate come as 12 multinational companies, including Amazon, Facebook and Google, appeared yesterday before the TAXE committee. This was its last meeting before the Parliament votes on its recommendations for fairer tax competition in plenary.
The report, approved with a substantial majority in committee last month, recommends introducing country-by-country reporting for multinational companies on financial data including profits made, taxes paid and subsidies received.
It also urged EU member states to systematically share their national rulings and other tax information that has an impact on other member states.