The European Commission will propose a common corporate tax base next month as part of its continued attempts to prevent international tax avoidance.
According to a document seen by the Irish Times, the Commission is proposing that the common tax base be introduced on a staged basis.
The idea has been discussed in Europe for a number of years but a 2011 Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) proposal failed to gain sufficient support from member states, including Ireland.
However, increased awareness of multinational tax avoidance through a series of high-profile leaks and investigations make the common tax base much more likely this time around.
Despite a report in German newspaper Handelsblatt, Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has given Ireland assurances that it is "not looking at the harmonisation of rates." The Department of Finance also confirmed member states would still set their own corporate tax rates
Unlike the CCCTB, the new will proposal will exclude the 'consolidated' aspect of the former plan, which relates to how profits and losses are treated across countries.
The document says by postponing this section, "losses can be carried forward and offset against current and future profits only within the same country."
"The current rules for corporate taxation no longer fit the modern context. Corporate income is taxed at a national level, but the economic environment has become more globalised, mobile and digital," it reads.