As in the 1997 edition, the 2000 update of the survey deals in particular with questions related to the sale, the donation and the transfer ‘mortis causa’ of a whole business, of an interest in a partnership and of shares held in a limited liability company or other corporation.
The study consists of five sections: the recommendations, the new section Country report on current developments in the fiscal treatment of SMEs, the synopsis of the answers received from the related questionnaire, as well as selective examples and a summary table showing at a glance the tax burden in the different Member States.
The study shows that the tax treatment of capital gains related to the sale of a business, an interest in a partnership, or shares in a limited liability company or corporation by an individual still varies significantly among Member States and in many instances creates a serious obstacle to the transfer of ownership of SMEs. Also thresholds and/or allowances related to gains arising from the sale differ substantially among the countries investigated. The rollover of a capital gain, the possibility of tax deferrals, the tax treatment of losses are as well dealt with by the study.