The EU tax commissioner is to push ahead with proposals for a single European corporate tax base despite opposition from five countries, including Britain.
Kaszlo Kovaks says the move will cut red tape and help companies in cross-border trade. He is planning to present his proposals early next year and wants legislation to follow in the next three to four years ' before his mandate ends in 2009.
Although five countries are objecting, the plan is to use a system called 'enhanced co-operation' and legislate for a 'pioneer group' of 20 member states.
Mr Kovaks says the Commission is still against harmonisation of tax rates but says the single tax base will simplify calculations.
"We consider that if companies were allowed to apply a single EU-wide set of rules for company tax purposes, this would...