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Advances in administrative cooperation in the field of taxation

08-04-2021

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 ...

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 in their scope. The goal is to ensure that sellers on digital platforms pay their fair share of taxes, align EU countries to the digital economy, and close the gaps for tax evasion and avoidance. Right now, having secure tax revenues is vital for the provision of support to the people and businesses most in need. The Parliament's ECON committee adopted its report on the proposal for an amended Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC7) on 4 February 2021. The Parliament adopted its opinion on the Commission’s proposal on 10 March 2021. The Council had reached agreement on the proposal on 1 December 2020, and formally adopted it on 22 March 2021. Member States have to transpose the directive's provisions and apply them as of 1 January 2023, except for the provisions on joint audits which will apply from 2024.

Addressing the VAT gap in the EU

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 ...

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' economies and eroded the VAT base. As a result, the VAT gap may reach over €164 billion in 2020. A broad VAT gap requires urgent action for improving voluntary compliance, achieving better administrative cooperation and enhancing the performance of national tax administrations. Recent EU legislative initiatives have addressed these needs, while also seeking to adapt the VAT system to the challenges of the modern economy. The VAT e-commerce package applicable from 2021 is a good example of these efforts. Another is the adoption in July 2020 of a tax package aimed to combat tax fraud. The package includes a Tax action plan, a communication on 'Good Tax Governance' and a proposal to amend Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. The European Union is a global leader in the digitalisation of VAT compliance, and its work on drawing up the legislative framework for applying VAT in the digital economy spans a number of years. Noteworthy is the requirement for non-EU businesses providing digital services to private consumers in the EU Member States to register for VAT and charge VAT based on destination, which set an example to emulate by other non-EU countries.

Hearings of the Commissioners-designate: Paolo Gentiloni - Economy

26-09-2019

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication ...

This briefing is one in a set looking at the Commissioners-designate and their portfolios as put forward by Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Each candidate faces a three-hour public hearing, organised by one or more parliamentary committees. After that process, those committees will judge the candidates' suitability for the role based on 'their general competence, European commitment and personal independence', as well as their 'knowledge of their prospective portfolio and their communication skills'. At the end of the hearings process, Parliament votes on the proposed Commission as a bloc, and under the Treaties may only reject the entire College of Commissioners, rather than individual candidates. The Briefing provides an overview of key issues in the portfolio areas, as well as Parliament's activity in the last term in that field. It also includes a brief introduction to the candidate.

Detailed technical measures for the definitive VAT system for cross-border goods trade

20-06-2019

The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967, and reformed in 1993, to adapt it to the entry into force of the European Union (EU) internal market. The existing rules governing intra Community trade were therefore intended to be transitory. While VAT has become an important source of revenue for both national governments and the EU budget, the current system is ill-adapted to the challenges of a modern economy. A substantial review was initiated as from 2016, to update the ...

The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967, and reformed in 1993, to adapt it to the entry into force of the European Union (EU) internal market. The existing rules governing intra Community trade were therefore intended to be transitory. While VAT has become an important source of revenue for both national governments and the EU budget, the current system is ill-adapted to the challenges of a modern economy. A substantial review was initiated as from 2016, to update the EU VAT system and make it less vulnerable to fraud, as described in the April 2016 VAT action plan. The proposal, adopted on 25 May 2018, would amend the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC), to introduce detailed technical measures for the definitive VAT system for intra-EU business to business (B2B) trade in goods. The present proposal follows and complements the adoption of Council Directive (EU) 2018/1910 on 4 December 2018. The Parliament adopted its position on the proposal on 12 February 2019; the Council has yet to finalise its position. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri, and subsequently updated by Laura Puccio. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Public country-by-country reporting by multinational enterprises

26-04-2019

Tax transparency has gained particular importance as a tool in the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion, particularly in the field of corporate income tax and aggressive tax planning. Cooperation between tax authorities aims at allowing them to obtain information covering the global business of multinational enterprises (MNEs), and progress has already been made in this area. A further step in tax transparency would be to broaden it by providing publicly available information relating to tax ...

Tax transparency has gained particular importance as a tool in the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion, particularly in the field of corporate income tax and aggressive tax planning. Cooperation between tax authorities aims at allowing them to obtain information covering the global business of multinational enterprises (MNEs), and progress has already been made in this area. A further step in tax transparency would be to broaden it by providing publicly available information relating to tax paid at the place where profits are actually made. Public country-by-country reporting (CBCR) is the publication of a defined set of facts and figures by large MNEs, thereby providing the public with a global picture of the taxes MNEs pay on their corporate income. The proposal is being considered by the European Parliament (EP) and the Council. In the EP, the amendments put forward by the ECON and JURI committees were voted on 4 July 2017. In the absence of a Council position enabling negotiations on the proposal, the Parliament adopted its position at first reading in plenary on 27 March 2019. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Stronger administrative cooperation in the VAT field

15-01-2019

Value added tax (VAT) is a very efficient consumption tax and an important source of revenue for both national and European budgets. However, the rules governing common EU VAT system are 25 years old. A substantial review was initiated from 2016 onwards in order to update it and make it less vulnerable to fraud. The reform of the VAT framework towards a definitive VAT system for intra-Community business-to-business (B2B) transactions was planned in several consecutive steps. The Commission proposal ...

Value added tax (VAT) is a very efficient consumption tax and an important source of revenue for both national and European budgets. However, the rules governing common EU VAT system are 25 years old. A substantial review was initiated from 2016 onwards in order to update it and make it less vulnerable to fraud. The reform of the VAT framework towards a definitive VAT system for intra-Community business-to-business (B2B) transactions was planned in several consecutive steps. The Commission proposal to amend Regulation 904/2010 (Regulation on VAT administrative cooperation) was initially put forward on October 2017, as part of the ‘definitive VAT system package' and was itself amended on 30 November 2017. The resulting Regulation 2018/1541 was adopted on 2 October 2018, and applies in full as of 1 January 2020. It introduces the concept of the 'certified taxable person' and measures aimed at enhancing cooperation between Member States, improving cooperation between tax authorities and law enforcement bodies and addressing cross-border refund issues. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Introducing the definitive VAT system for B2B cross-border trade

15-01-2019

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumer. It is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is still ‘transitional’. This framework presents problems such as vulnerability to fraud, compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. It is under review along the lines ...

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumer. It is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is still ‘transitional’. This framework presents problems such as vulnerability to fraud, compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. It is under review along the lines of the April 2016 VAT Action Plan. The reform of the VAT framework towards a definitive VAT system for intra-Community business-to-business (B2B) transactions is planned in several consecutive steps. The first step focuses on B2B transactions in goods, while the second one in services. Directive 2018/1910, adopted on 4 December 2018, was put forward by the Commission in October 2017 as part of the ‘definitive VAT system package'. The directive amends the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC) so as to introduce the basic features of the definite VAT system for business-to-business (B2B) goods transactions. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Customs 2020 and Fiscalis 2020 (2014-2020)

13-12-2018

The Customs 2020 programme was established by Regulation No 1294/2013 and is aimed at supporting the functioning of the customs union. The Fiscalis 2020 programme was established by Regulation No 1286/2013 and is aimed at improving the operation of the taxation systems in the internal market and supporting cooperation between the EU Member States.

The Customs 2020 programme was established by Regulation No 1294/2013 and is aimed at supporting the functioning of the customs union. The Fiscalis 2020 programme was established by Regulation No 1286/2013 and is aimed at improving the operation of the taxation systems in the internal market and supporting cooperation between the EU Member States.

Corporate taxation of a significant digital presence

07-12-2018

Despite achieving unprecedented growth and profit rates, the digital economy seems to be relatively undertaxed when compared to more traditional 'bricks and mortar' companies. The current rules are based on the physical presence of taxpayers and assets, and there is a general understanding that they are not suited to taxing a digital economy characterised by reliance on intangible assets and ubiquitous services whose location is often hard to determine. International bodies are currently working ...

Despite achieving unprecedented growth and profit rates, the digital economy seems to be relatively undertaxed when compared to more traditional 'bricks and mortar' companies. The current rules are based on the physical presence of taxpayers and assets, and there is a general understanding that they are not suited to taxing a digital economy characterised by reliance on intangible assets and ubiquitous services whose location is often hard to determine. International bodies are currently working on how to adapt tax rules to the digital reality. The European Commission adopted a proposal in March 2018. It would allow taxation on the basis of digital rather than physical presence linked with the EU, for digital activities generating turnover of over €7 million, and with more than 100 000 users or 3 000 business-to-business contracts annually. The proposal has met with mixed reactions from stakeholders. Although there is growing recognition that digital companies should pay similar tax rates to traditional companies, some consider the initiative to be premature given the ongoing search for a compromise at the level of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which is thought of as the permanent solution. The report by Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) proposes to widen the scope and reach of the tax, and increase clarity for tax authorities and companies. The plenary vote on the report is expected during the December session. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Tax transparency for intermediaries

03-07-2018

The situations highlighted by the ‘Panama papers’ and ‘Paradise papers’, among others leaks show how certain intermediaries and other providers of tax advice appear to have facilitated companies and individuals in avoiding taxation, often through complex cross-border schemes involving routing assets to, or through, offshore entities. Among the tools to fight tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning are established mechanisms for disclosure of tax information and publication of tax-relevant information ...

The situations highlighted by the ‘Panama papers’ and ‘Paradise papers’, among others leaks show how certain intermediaries and other providers of tax advice appear to have facilitated companies and individuals in avoiding taxation, often through complex cross-border schemes involving routing assets to, or through, offshore entities. Among the tools to fight tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning are established mechanisms for disclosure of tax information and publication of tax-relevant information by companies. In June 2017, the Commission adopted a proposal aimed at ensuring early information on such situations, by setting an obligation to report cross-border arrangements designed by tax intermediaries or taxpayers and by including the information collected in the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities within the European Union. The directive was adopted on 25 May 2018, and it is to be applied from 1 July 2020. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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