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Eurozone businesses are divided on the question of an EU-wide single corporate tax rate

Eurozone businesses support for a single corporate tax rate in the European Union varies in terms of function of the rates applied in their own country: the higher the rate, the stronger the support for harmonisation, according to a survey by Grant Thornton International.

The survey of 2,500 businesses in 36 economies found that just over half (53%) of Eurozone businesses support the idea of a single corporate tax rate across the EU.

The survey also found that respondents from countries with higher rates than the European average are more likely to support a single corporate tax rates across the EU. This is the case of Italy with 70% of respondents in favour, Spain (66%), France (64%) and Greece (62%).

The Grant Thornton survey also found that 63% of Eurozone businesses are in favour of further economic integration in the European Union (EU).

Grant Thornton global leader for tax services Francesca Lagerberg said there are strong voices in favour of tax harmonisation in the EU, especially the newly elected French President Emanuel Macron. However she warned that there was no consensus on the question and some still held the view that tax rates should remain national policy.

“Some businesses feel strongly that each country should determine its own rate, with only 6% of businesses in Ireland, 10% in Estonia, 28% in the Netherlands and 30% in Lithuania supporting the idea of an EU-wide regime,” she said. “Again, there is some correlation with the low rates these countries currently enjoy.”

The below table from Grant Thornton, summarises respondents’ answers in correlation to the corporate tax rate applied in their own country: 

Country name

% support for EU-wide corporate tax rate

Corporate tax rate*

Italy70%24%
Sapin66%25%
France64%33.33%
Greece62%29%
Malta45%35%
Germany41%29.79
Finland40%20%
Lithuania30%15%
The Netherlands18%25%
Estonia10%20%
Ireland6%12.5%

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