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The purpose of the present study is to provide a tool for understanding the phenomenon of harmful tax competition within the EU, as well as making an in-depth assessment and proposing solutions. It contains policy recommendations for future EU standards. This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the subcommittee on Tax Matters (FISC).

The digitalisation of the economy opens the door to new cross-border economic activities that makes it possible to under-report income and under-pay tax. It also presents new challenges for tax administrations, already faced with limited access to information at the national level. Hence, in July 2020 the Commission proposed to amend the provisions on information exchange and administrative cooperation and to include the automatic exchange of data on information declared by digital platform operators ...

One year after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the fight against the virus will again top the agenda of the European Council meeting on 25-26 March 2021. EU leaders are expected to focus their discussions on ‘digital green certificates’ (providing proof of vaccination and/or Covid-19 test results) and progress on production, delivery and deployment of vaccines. They will work further on developing a common EU approach to the gradual lifting of restrictions and refer to global solidarity ...

Addressing the VAT gap in the EU

Briefing 17-12-2020

Among indirect taxes, value added tax (VAT) has the highest share in the Member States' indirect taxation revenues and is an important source of income for the EU budget too. Therefore, estimations and actions to narrow the difference between expected and actual VAT revenues – the VAT gap – are important. According to the European Commission, the EU VAT gap stood at €140 billion in 2018 and could fall below €130 billion in 2019. However, Covid-19-related containment measures have hurt Member States ...

There is an important ongoing debate on the direct and indirect taxation of the digital economy. Proposals on digital taxes, which are under negotiation in the OECD, are inter-linked with European Commission proposals on the same subject. As the Council did not reach an agreement on the Commission proposal for a digital services tax, national initiatives appeared in the interim until a global solution in the area of direct taxation could be found in the OECD. On 1 December 2020, the Council endorsed ...

The digitalisation of the economy and society poses new tax policy challenges. One of the main questions is how to correctly capture value and tax businesses characterised by a reliance on intangible assets, no or insignificant physical presence in the tax jurisdictions where commercial activities are carried out (scale without mass), and a considerable user role in value creation. Current tax rules are struggling to cope with the emerging realities of these new economic models. The European Union ...

The commissioner-designate, Paolo Gentiloni, appeared before the European Parliament on 03 October 2019 to answer questions from MEPs in the Committees on Economic and Monetary Affairs and on Budgets. During the hearing, he made a number of commitments which are highlighted in this document. These commitments refer to his portfolio, as described in the mission letter sent to him by Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission and include economic and financial affairs, fair and ...

Action to fight corporate tax avoidance has been deemed necessary in the OECD forum and has received further impetus through the G20/OECD Base erosion and profit shifting action plan (known as BEPS). The 2015 BEPS action plan has 15 actions, covering elements used in corporate tax-avoidance practices and aggressive tax-planning schemes. The implementation of the BEPS action plan was designed to be flexible, as a consequence of its adoption by consensus. Recommendations made in BEPS reports range ...

When will the EU’s single market be complete? See how the Heads of State or Government pushed for the completion of the single market, digital single market and capital markets union.

This paper was prepared by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) to discuss tax challenges posed by digitalisation, especially regarding new business models and value creation process, the impact of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) actions, unilateral measures and recent tax developments in the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) while evaluating alternative approaches to reform the international tax system ...