[LUXEMBOURG] European Union finance ministers agreed on Tuesday to automatically exchange information on deals struck with multinational companies from 2017 in a bid to reduce tax avoidance, officials said. "We have a political deal on this issue," Luxembourg's finance minister Pierre Gramegna told his EU counterparts in a public session of a meeting in Luxembourg, the country that holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
The tax deals, known as rulings and advance price arrangements, provide companies with information about their future tax bills when they settle in a country.
It is a widespread practice and is not illegal, but it can allow large corporations to minimise their tax bills in Europe by shifting profits to countries with lower taxes.
The automatic exchange of information on such deals is seen as a way of discouraging aggressive tax planning and making multinationals pay tax according to where they really do business.