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.
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.