Proposals for enhancement of group taxation in Germany and in the European Union

Project directors

  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Oestreicher
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfram Scheffler
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Spengel
  • Prof. Dr. Dietmar Wellisch

Participating research assistants

  • Dipl.-Kfm. Reinald Koch
  • Dipl.-Kfm. Carsten Wendt


01.11.2005 - 31.10.2006

Funded by

  • Bundesministerium der Finanzen

Co-operating partners

  • Centre for European Research Economic Research (ZEW), Mannheim
  • International Tax Institute, Universität Hamburg
  • Ernst & Young AG
  • Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg


Taxation of groups with cross-border activities within the EU is at a crossroads. Existing regulations governing the consolidation of profits or losses of group companies are, with only few exceptions (Denmark, France, Italy and Austria), limited to domestic groups. From a domestic perspective of the EU Member States, a first question concerns whether or not a concept of group taxation limited to their particular territory is in conflict with the basic freedoms of the EU Agreement, especially the freedom of establishment. This issue has in the meantime been resolved by the ECJ in the Marks and Spencer case. In assessing alternative approaches, a second question concerns the EU Commission´s endeavours to harmonize taxation through creating a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB). In accordance with this approach, groups (1) determine their tax base in the EU using common rules, (2) consolidate this tax base and (3) apportion group income to the individual companies operating in the Member States using allocation keys. In the event of consolidated taxation, besides having impact on the domestic rules for group taxation, further economic consequences regarding the competitive situation of companies and tax revenue would result.

Against the background of this development, it was the aim of this research project to explore possible improvements to domestic provisions for the taxation of affiliated companies with respect to cross-border business activities compatible with the CCCTB approach.


  • Wendt, Carsten, A common tax base for multinational enterprises in the European Union, Gabler Edition Wissenschaft, Wiesbaden 2009, 231 Seiten, ISBN 978-3-8349-1326-5.

  • Oestreicher, Andreas/Scheffler, Wolfram/Spengel, Christoph/Wellisch, Dietmar, Modelle einer Konzernbesteuerung für Deutschland und Europa, Nomos, Baden-Baden 2008, Schriftenreihe des ZEW: Wirtschaftsanalysen Bd. 87, 442 Seiten, ISBN 3-8329-3480-4.