Portugal says it supports multinationals’ tax directive

  • ECO News
  • 27 November 2019

The country's position was not clear, but Portugal voted alongside the countries that support the directive on taxes for multinationals and the government now assures it will approve the document.

The Portuguese government has been accused of blocking the adoption of legislation on tax transparency by multinationals at the European Council. But the government is now guaranteeing that it “will do nothing to impede” the directive from being adopted.

Portugal’s position was unclear and the Diário de Notícias newspaper even said that Portugal was on the side of a minority (made up of countries like Luxembourg, Ireland and Malta) that wanted to prevent the approval of the document. A point justified by the country’s “legal” reading of the legislation, besides considering that, since it is a tax issue, it could only be approved unanimously.

However, the same newspaper writes this Wednesday that Portugal decided to change its position and voted last Friday alongside the countries that defend the directive, such as Spain, France and Italy. This way, there are better conditions for the new laws to be approved.

Público newspaper also reports that the government is promising to make the directive viable: “It is not true that Portugal has blocked the proposal for a directive. Portugal has been observing the arguments used by the Member States and the Commission very closely,” said a source from the Ministry of Economy to the newspaper.

Among other things, the multinationals’ tax transparency directive requires these companies to publish data on where they make their profits and where they pay their taxes within the European Union (EU). In addition, the rules force these companies to disclose in detail their activity in countries considered tax havens. These include companies such as Google and Facebook, among others.