EU launches drive to stop tax evasion by multinationals, plans for new rules next month

The European Union has launched a drive to combat tax evasion following a series of probes into tax rules that allows multinationals to slash their bills in Luxembourg, Ireland and the Netherlands.

The EU's executive commission said Tuesday that it will table new tax legislation next month including on the automatic exchange of information about tax rulings.

Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said the EU "must reassure people that the tax burden is distributed fairly and the tax rules shall apply equally to all citizens and businesses."

The 28-country EU launched an investigation on Feb. 3 to establish whether a Belgian tax provision allows some companies to substantially reduce their liabilities.

It opened probes last year into Apple in Ireland, Starbucks in the Netherlands and Amazon in Luxemburg.