Author(s) Ana Maria Ferreira de Araújo
Advisor(s) Maria Miguel Carvalho
Year 2015

Synopsis This thesis seeks to explore the legal framework of taxation of corporate groups from a national and European perspective. The issue of taxation of corporate groups is a transnational concern and its study requires a multidisciplinary approach. In Portugal, there is a special legal framework of taxation of corporate groups that allows large tax savings. This is due to the fact that the taxable profit of the group is obtained from the sum of the individual taxable income and the tax losses of the companies that integrate the corporate group. In the European Union there is a huge diversity of national tax laws because the Member States remain sovereign in the field of direct taxation. This diversity is highlighted in a comparative analysis between the legal framework in force in Portugal and the existing ones in Spain and the UK, since we are dealing with three regimes which, despite their similarities, show remarkable differences. Hence it is essential to increase the cooperation between Member States and the coordination of their tax law, in order to remove tax obstacles to the functioning of the internal market. Thus, due to these difficulties in achieving harmonisation of the different national laws on the taxation of corporate groups, the case law from the Court of Justice of the European Union has played a truly essential role in the protection and promotion of European fundamental freedoms and the functioning of the single market. In short, it is important to highlight the need of common European rules on the order to foster a balanced solution between measures aimed at preventing tax avoidance and tax evasion and measures intended to safeguard the fundamental freedoms as laid down in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In this context, we draw attention to the project of the 9th Directive on the corporate groups and to the proposal on the common consolidated corporate tax base, which failed to reach consensus within Member States.

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