FISC Committee discusses reform of EU Code of Conduct Group
FISC Committee held a hearing with Lyudmila Petkova, Chair of the Council’s Code of Conduct Group, on the reform of the Code of Conduct Group criteria and process on 19 April.
Petkova underlined the successes of the EU’s blacklisting process, with so far 95 jurisdictions having been reviewed and over 130 preferential tax regimes modified or removed as a result. About reforming the Group, Petkova simply stated that “technical” work is ongoing towards a 3-step assessment of EU countries’ tax systems. She did not answer questions on reforming the Group’s governance. Read more
European Parliament (EP) plenary adopts position on digital taxation
The resolution on digital taxation was adopted with 549 votes in favour, 70 against and 75 abstentions on 29 April. The draft report had been prepared by MEPs Martin Hlaváček (RE/Czech Republic) and Andreas Schwab (EPP/Germany).
The adopted position calls for an EU plan B in case there is no international agreement on tax reform. It also welcomes the new momentum brought by the Biden administration to international discussions.
Before the vote, Commissioner Gentiloni re-emphasised to the EP the EC’s efforts to work on a digital levy that would be separate from the OECD work. Read more
EP ‘fast tracks’ EC’s COVID VAT exemptions proposals
EP’s Plenary approved the EC’s proposed extended VAT waver for importations of supplies needed in the fight against the COVID pandemic on 18 May. Given the urgency of the topic, EP had decided to ‘fast track’ the file and adopt it without rounds of amendments and negotiations.
The EP has no legislative powers, as with all tax matters. However, the EP’s opinion is needed before the proposal can enter into effect.
Commissioner Gentiloni presents Business tax Communication to the EP
Commissioner Gentiloni explained the main features of the Communication on business taxation for the 21st Century during an EP Plenary on 18 May.
Many MEPs expressed support for the EC’s ambitious proposals, including BEFIT that would replace CCCTB. They also expressed doubts about Member States being able to find unanimous agreement on the proposals.
Commissioner responded citing three reasons for why he is optimistic this time: first, there is consensus that post-COVID public financing must be ensured. Second, a global agreement on re-allocation of taxing rights and minimum taxation are around the corner. Third, the EC and the EP will continue to work hand-in-hand for an ambitious EU tax agenda. Read more
FISC hearing on role of technology in the tax system
FISC Committee hosted a public hearing on “How can technology help in reducing fraud and making tax compliance simpler” on 25 May. The discussion came in a context of increased calls at an international level to clamp down on tax fraud and to reduce administrative burdens on taxpayers through technological advances.
FISC Subcommittee members heard the expert views of Vincent Drezet and Peter Green (Forum on Tax Administration, OECD) on the potential of technology to both facilitate taxpayer compliance and to fight against tax fraud and evasion. EC representatives from DG TAXUD also shared insights on how to better strengthen digital governance, and discussed the practical implementation of such measures for national tax administrations and the potential of data. Read more
ECON Committee adopts draft report on tax information exchange
The draft report was prepared by MEP Sven Giegold (Greens-EFA/Germany). It aims to assess and monitor the functioning of the EU’s Directive for administrative cooperation on taxation (DAC).
Giegold makes several concerning observations, including that the exchanged data appears to be of poor quality, not frequent and does not cover certain types of income and assets. He also deplores that EU Member States were reluctant to provide their DAC related data for the investigation, with the exception of Finland and Sweden.
Following a 27 May vote in ECON Committee, a final vote in Plenary is scheduled for 23 June. Read more