Taxation policy

This month’s Brussels Agenda covers a broad range of tax policy emanating from and affecting the European Union and the UK. Reformation of tax law and the tax agenda has had a large policy push within the EU recently and there are large numbers of proposals being debated (see for example the debates in the European Parliament).

March saw the publication of numerous new proposals, as covered in the several Eu Tax law and policy updates this month. Much reform relates to the EU wide push to capture lost tax revenue and bring aggressive tax planning practises and those involved in tax avoidance within the EU net of EU captured taxation. EU citizens are now part of a truly inter connected digital market place where transactions are lightning fast and companies are stateless entities with fleeting presences in numerous states. Legislative policy must also be fluid, forward looking and brought forward and implemented to address issues in a digital economy.

Much of the most recent tax policy, attempting to ensure that transactions within the EU and involving large multi-jurisdictional entities are captured to tax, emanates from the political left but has found traction in the EU institutions at large. As can be seen in this month’s edition, VAT proposals, digital tax reform and CCCTB proposals are all controversial with conservative law makers. However, mounting pressure in the form of reports aiming at member states that are perceived to aid and abet a certain level of tax drain within the European Union, are difficult to ignore.

We have received an excellent viewpoint this month from Molly Scott Cato MEP on the formation and agenda of the TAXE3 Committee of the European Parliament. We have also written a host of tax law updates, information pieces and include another article from the Junior Lawyers Division pertaining to the effect of tax law changes on the junior end of the legal profession in the UK.

Letters to a (list of) small island (s)

30 April 2018

The catalyst for the creation of the black list was the visibility of ‘tax havens’ and offshore schemes created by the Panama Papers scandal, investigated by the European Parliament enquiry committee. However, the acceleration of agreement between the European Parliament and Commission leading to the publication of the list must be viewed in light of the publication of the ...

Council of the EU reaches agreement on tax intermediaries

30 April 2018

On 13 March, the EU Council reached agreement on a proposal aimed at boosting transparency in order to tackle aggressive cross-border tax planning. The proposal would require intermediaries such as tax advisors, accountants and lawyers that design and/or promote tax planning schemes to report schemes that are considered potentially aggressive. 

Taxation, taxation, taxation – the status quo and future developments affecting junior lawyers

30 April 2018

In advance of the UK formally leaving the EU on 29 March 2019, UK Parliament has drafted the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill (the “Bill”). This will enable the UK government to establish its own standalone customs regime and to ensure that VAT, along with excise legislation, can operate effectively in the future. This Bill is required, as current customs legislation is based in EU law and is directly applicable to the UK. The Bill provides a choice on the continued application of ...

Commissioner Moscovici and the EU’s fight against tax evasion/avoidance: the digital tax and the CCCTB

30 April 2018

The subject of fair taxation has dominated the political agenda in Europe since 2014, with the EU Commission taking high profile legislative and enforcement action in the area in the intervening years. Although a select number of competition and state aid decisions (for example that of Apple) dominated global headlines, the legislative work carried out by the Commission under Pierre Moscovici in the recent past is likely to have a more profound impact on the way multinationals pay tax ...

Parliament votes on the proposal for a Council Directive on exchange of information in the field of taxation

30 April 2018

The directive was adopted by the European Parliament in March 2018, however, the Parliament’s vote on the proposed amendments may only have a limited impact on the final text to be adopted by the Member States, as the Council (Member States) is not bound by these recommendations. 

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