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EU's Barnier wants big companies to reveal national tax bills

European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier addresses a news conference in Brussels March 25, 2013. REUTERS/Franco
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Michel Barnier addresses a news conference in Brussels March 25, 2013. REUTERS/Franco

By John O'Donnell

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Large companies should disclose how much tax they pay in each country where they operate, the European Commission's top regulatory official said, in the text of a speech to be delivered on Thursday.

Michel Barnier, the European commissioner in charge of drafting business regulation, said large banks will already be obliged to disclose their profits, taxes and subsidies in each member state and in the non-EU countries where they operate.

"We will expand these reporting obligations to large companies and groups," he said in a speech to be delivered at a conference in Amsterdam.

The move follows a report by the U.S. Senate earlier this week that Apple Inc paid little or no tax on tens of billions of dollars in profits channeled through Irish subsidiaries and that it had negotiated a special corporate tax rate of less than 2 percent.

A change to EU law could come by amending an existing proposal on non-financial reporting, said one EU official. That would make it possible to introduce the rules by 2015, after the conclusion of negotiations between member states and the European Parliament to finalize any new legislation.

(Reporting by John O'Donnell; editing by Rex Merrifield)

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