Category: European Commission

Australia’s Google Tax may be the second in the world but it’s too early to tell if it’s the ‘toughest’

When introducing the draft legislation for the Diverted Profits or so-called “Google Tax”, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed it would: …reinforce Australia’s position as having amongst the toughest laws in the world to combat corporate tax avoidance. Australia is the second country to introduce this type of tax, after the… – Continue reading

Common Base Could End EU Patent Box, Transfer Pricing Disputes

Adoption of legislation for a common consolidated corporate tax base by 27 EU member states would resolve current patent box conflicts and end transfer pricing disputes that cost multinational companies hundreds of millions of dollars in double taxation, according to EU and industry officials. Speaking at a Nov. 15 conference… – Continue reading

Bermuda dodges EU tax-haven blacklist bullet

Bermuda has reportedly avoided being placed on an European Union blacklist after Britain blocked a French-led proposal that would have automatically branded the island a tax haven. Territories with a zero per cent corporate tax rate, such as Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, would have been denounced as potentially “non-co-operative”… – Continue reading

EU Parliament May Lose Right to Veto Public Tax Reporting

The European Parliament risks losing the right to veto plans to make multinational companies publish tax and profit details for the countries in which they operate, according to the European Union’s legal advisers. The Council of Ministers’ legal service insisted in its opinion, seen by Bloomberg BNA, that the European… – Continue reading

EU To Crack Down On Promotion Of Aggressive Tax Planning

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on how best to deter promoters of aggressive tax planning schemes. The Commission said it is particularly interested in gathering views on how a mandatory disclosure scheme for tax advisers could be put in place. If implemented, this would require intermediaries to… – Continue reading

EU agrees screening process for tax havens, critics cry foul

European Union finance ministers agreed on Tuesday how to screen countries for a blacklist of tax havens across the world, officials said, and said applying zero-rate taxes was not necessarily a factor, prompting an outcry. The bloc committed in May to agree on a common list of tax offenders by… – Continue reading

EU Countries Block Use of Rates as Tax Haven Criteria

A “number” of European Union countries are blocking a push to include zero corporate tax rates as criteria for the bloc’s tax haven blacklist, according to Slovakia, which holds the rotating EU presidency. EU members have been unable to reach an agreement on cracking down on offshore structures aimed at… – Continue reading

Romania plans to join project for fighting big companies’ tax avoidance

Romania plans to join the Base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) program as an associate member. The program equips governments with domestic and international instruments to address tax avoidance. The program’s objective is to have profits taxed where economic activities generating the profits are performed. The Finance Ministry has published… – Continue reading

McDonald’s UK pays £123m in royalties to Luxembourg

The British arm of McDonald’s paid £123m for “franchise rights” last year, as part of a controversial structure that is under investigation for enabling unfair tax avoidance. The European Commission launched a probe last year into whether Luxembourg’s tax arrangements for McDonald’s amounted to illegal state aid, as part of… – Continue reading

New EU corporate tax rules announced

After five years of negotiations, the European Commission has finally announced its plans to overhaul the way in which companies are taxed in the Single Market. The revised Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) is aimed at making it easier and cheaper to do business in the Single Market and… – Continue reading

Brussels aims to harmonise corporate tax by 2021

The European Commission has unveiled its latest plan to harmonise corporate tax. After two past failures, the executive hopes the recent flurry of tax scandals will give the project a new lease of life. The EU has revived its tax crusade with a new attempt to establish a Common Consolidated… – Continue reading

Time for U.K. to Get Tough on Offshore Transparency?

With the exception of British Antarctica, the U.K.’s overseas territories and offshore dependencies are all surrounded by sun-winking ocean water. But that’s not their only common feature—they are all under increasing political pressure to become more transparent with their financial information. In a parliamentary report on tackling overseas corruption, the… – Continue reading

EU Cautioned on Plans to Regulate Tax Advisers

European Union plans to regulate tax advisers in an effort to clamp down on aggressive tax planning and tax avoidance could prove excessive, ineffective and trigger unfair competition, accountants and lawyers warn. The caution comes after EU finance ministers moved Oct. 11 to authorize the European Commission to draw up… – Continue reading

EU Finance Ministers to Target Tax Advisers, Protect Whistle-Blowers

Tough rules to regulate tax advisers, banks and lawyers who help companies avoid tax are set to be advanced by European Union finance ministers. The Council of Economic and Financial Affairs Oct. 11 also will likely move toward a system of automatic exchange of beneficial ownership registers to better target… – Continue reading

STUDY: 73% OF FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES USED TAX HAVENS IN 2015

In 2015, more than 73 percent of Fortune 500 companies maintained subsidiaries in offshore tax havens, according to “Offshore Shell Games,” released today by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, Citizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. Collectively, multinationals reported booking $2.5 trillion offshore, with just… – Continue reading

Tax havens are under attack

Ireland, accused of being a tax haven for multinationals such as Apple to pay nearly zero tax on the bulk of its profits earned outside the United States, finds itself with a new adversary in the global fight against unfair tax practices — Brazil. As of October 1, Brazil will… – Continue reading

European Parliament Begins Panama Papers Probe Despite Tax Haven Splits

Members of the European Parliament, September 27, have begun their investigation into the Panama Papers scandal, which exposed the sheer extent of rich people and companies using offshore tax havens to reduce their tax liabilities in EU member states. However, the latest probe comes on the back of another investigation… – Continue reading

OECD official says EU Apple ruling not precedent for future tax cases

A multi-billion euro back tax bill handed to Apple by the European Commission should not be seen as a precedent for future tax cases as it was based on state aid rather than tax law, the OECD official spearheading global tax reform said on Monday. European Union antitrust regulators last… – Continue reading

Irish corporation tax not under threat – OECD tax chief

The Director of the OECD’s tax policy and administration unit has said there is no pressure on Ireland to change its 12.5% tax rate. “There is no question about the 12.5% rate, even the French have understood that Ireland will not change the rate,” Pascal Saint-Amans said. He said the… – Continue reading

Bahamas files: New leak exposes offshore ‘tax haven’ dealings of politicians, companies

Five months after the Panama Papers exposed the offshore dealings of government leaders and influential people, a new leak of 1.3 million files has revealed the names of individuals associated with companies registered in the Bahamas, a notorious tax haven. The files – received by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung… – Continue reading

Nine Middle East Countries At Risk Of EU Sanctions Over Tax Governance

The European Commission has put nine Middle Eastern and North African countries on notice that they are at risk of measures being taken against them to deter tax avoidance. The nine countries (see table below) are Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates… – Continue reading

EU opens probe into tax deals between Luxembourg and Engie

European Union antitrust regulators opened a probe on Monday into tax deals granted by Luxembourg to French power utility Engie, stepping up the EU’s campaign against tax avoidance by multinationals. The European Commission said it had concerns the tax rulings granted by Luxembourg since 2008 appeared to treat the same… – Continue reading

UK overseas territories could be affected by EU tax crackdown

Eight British overseas territories and crown dependencies, including Jersey, the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands, could face EU economic sanctions after Brussels identified them as having low or no corporation tax. Experts have published a scorecard showing red flag warnings set against a list of the 81 countries that… – Continue reading

OECD Pushes For More Certainty In International Tax Rules

OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría has stressed the need for policy makers to provide a certain tax environment for businesses, to maintain trade and investment. Discussing the tax challenges facing EU countries at the informal meeting of EU finance ministers, held in Bratislava, Slovakia, on September 10, 2016, Gurría said:… – Continue reading

Apple May Face Double Tax on Profits If France Adds to Tab

Apple Inc. may face double taxation on some of its profits if the European Commission’s Aug. 30 ruling inspires France to slap its own tax adjustment on the company, practitioners said. Apple could even face “triple taxation” if it repatriates profits from the European Union to the U.S., Laurent Leclercq,… – Continue reading

Push for EU mandatory disclosure of tax avoidance schemes

Slovakia, the current president of the EU council, challenges finance ministers from all the EU member states to introduce mandatory disclosure rules for intermediaries including accountants who seek to profit from the promotion, design or implementation of tax avoidance schemes The proposals were outlined in a ‘presidency issues’ note presented… – Continue reading

EU countries eye potential share of Apple windfall

Potential slice of the Apple pie stems from Commission’s invitation to EU tax authorities. BRATISLAVA — The €13 billion clawback of unpaid taxes from U.S. tech giant Apple has piqued the interests of EU finance ministers, who have today asked the European Commission for more details on the potential share… – Continue reading

UK bill to open details on multinational tax avoidance

A legislative amendment in the UK this week will give the British government the power to publish details of tax payments made by UK-based multinational corporations on a country by country basis, as tax authorities try to clamp down on the abuse of tax laws and aggressive tax avoidance. The… – Continue reading

EU finance ministers to discuss how to make tax policy more evenhanded

European Union countries should better coordinate tax rules to avoid hitting corporations too hard, the Slovak presidency of the European Union has proposed. This would be an effort to provide more balance to an EU campaign against tax avoidance by multinational companies. The proposal will be discussed at an informal… – Continue reading

Businesses Fear Breakdown In BEPS Consensus

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has expressed concern about the possible broader implications of the European Commission’s (EC’s) ruling against Apple. In a statement published on September 1, the ICC warned that unprecedented rulings of this nature fall outside the scope of the recommendations of the OECD’s base erosion… – Continue reading

Luxembourg may be focus of another Brussels tax inquiry

After state aid inquiries into Amazon and McDonald’s, EU looks again at Luxembourg The European Commission may open a fresh investigation into tax rulings offered by Luxembourg as early as this week, as EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager continues her clampdown against corporate tax avoidance. Luxembourg is already awaiting a… – Continue reading

Silicon Valley Issues Netherlands With Tax Warning

A coalition of Silicon Valley tech companies has urged the Dutch Government against making changes to the most “attractive” features of its corporate tax regime, warning that it risks damaging its traditionally strong tax competitiveness by doing so. The Silicon Valley Tax Directors Group (SVTDG), which includes more than 80… – Continue reading

Ireland risks being trampled in US/EU corporate tax fight

For the last three years, the international debate on tax policy was all about consensus. Led by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, countries across the globe agreed that aggressive tax planning by multinational corporations which pushed profits into low-tax countries – or indeed took profits outside the charge… – Continue reading

By singling out Apple over taxes, Brussels is abusing its own rules

Under EU rules it is illegal for countries to give financial help to some companies and not others in a way that distorts fair competition, writes Liza Lovdahl Gormsen. State aid rules were originally designed to protect the internal EU market and avoid retaliation among member states. The US Treasury,… – Continue reading

EU tax probes could threaten international agreements, US warns

The US has warned the EU that it risks damaging international agreements on tax reform if it continues to act as a “supra-national tax authority”. The US Treasury Department “shares the European Commission’s concern with tax avoidance by multinational firms. The international community, including the EU and its member states,… – Continue reading

Dublin and Washington enter talks to update Double Taxation treaty

Talks have begun between the US and Irish governments about updating certain elements of the Double Tax treaty between the two countries. The existing treaty was signed in 1997 and a Protocol to the treaty was signed in 1999. The Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners are calling for… – Continue reading

US warns EU ahead of Apple tax evasion ruling

As Brussels is slated to deliver a verdict next month on Apple and other US companies for evading billions of pounds in taxes, the US Treasury Department has warned the European Commission (EU) about taking such action. In a white paper commissioned by US Treasury secretary Jack Lew, the Obama… – Continue reading

How Amazon Values Its Tech Assets for Tax Purposes

Regulators in Europe and the US say that the value Amazon places on the technology behind user experience varies radically depending on which appraisal will lower its tax bill. Jeff Bezos’s relentless focus on user experience has helped him make Amazon the most valuable e-commerce company in the world. But… – Continue reading

Tim Cook addresses Apple’s US taxes, says no repatriation without ‘fair rate’

Apple CEO Tim Cook struck back at critics of the iPhone maker’s strategy to avoid paying U.S. taxes, telling The Washington Post in a wide ranging interview that the company would not bring that money back from abroad unless there was a “fair rate.” Along with other multinational companies, the… – Continue reading

NZ avoids EU tax evasion investigation

New Zealand is not being singled out for investigation as a tax haven, the European Union says. In a statement released today, the EU delegation in Wellington confirmed that a committee was assessing 28 non-EU countries’ tax policies. But media reports that New Zealand was being targeted for investigation as… – Continue reading

EU considers blacklisting NZ over tax laws

Possible EU sanctions against New Zealand could make travel harder and have a massive effect on the economy. New Zealand is under investigation by the EU as it prepares a blacklist of global tax havens, Newshub revealed on Monday night. The grouping of 28 European nations has compiled a list… – Continue reading

Monaco signs up to EU’s tax transparency scheme

The EU has signed a fiscal transparency agreement with Monaco in an attempt to stop Europeans hiding undeclared income in the Mediterranean principality. EurActiv Spain reports. Famous for its glamorous casinos and annual Formula One race, Monaco is also known for not levying income tax and for being somewhat of… – Continue reading

Ireland Details Framework On Exchange Of Tax Rulings

The Irish Revenue has released guidance on how it will exchange information on the tax rulings it grants. Revenue eBrief No.65/16, which was released on July 5, 2016, sets out Revenue’s arrangements for implementing Council Directive (EU) 2015/2376; and the OECD’s framework for the compulsory spontaneous exchange of information in… – Continue reading

After Brexit, EU proposes tougher tax rules on trusts

The European Commission will propose on Tuesday stricter rules on trusts to prevent tax evasion, according to draft legislation seen by Reuters, in a move that Britain has long opposed and which was deferred until after the Brexit referendum. The EU push to identify owners of trusts has been in… – Continue reading

EU Seeks to Fill Tax-Avoidance Gaps in Wake of Panama Leaks

The European Union, faced with mounting anti-establishment furor from populist parties across the region, is speeding up efforts to thwart tax dodging after the Panama Papers leaks and wants its blacklist of tax havens ready next year. “The recent leaks exposed loopholes that still allow tax evaders to hide funds… – Continue reading

Tax haven route won’t work for post-Brexit UK, OECD says

The United Kingdom is unlikely to try to lure international investment by becoming a tax haven after it leaves the European Union, according to an internal memo prepared by the body responsible for the drafting international tax rules. The head of tax at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development,… – Continue reading

Gov’t policies offer incentives for tax dodging

Tax dodgers in Greece enjoy multiple benefits: They pay less tax, they avoid social security contributions, they can protect their main residence from confiscation and have access to a number of social benefits, ranging from free nursery places for their children to various allowances. The temptation to declare an income… – Continue reading

EU agrees on tax avoidance measures aimed at multinationals

European Union member states have struck a deal on new rules designed to eliminate the most common corporate tax avoidance practices. The measures in the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive target the main forms of tax avoidance practiced by large multinationals and builds on global standards developed by the Organisation for Economic… – Continue reading

European Commission gets closer to agreeing anti-tax avoidance directive

The European Commission is on the brink of agreeing its far-reaching anti-tax avoidance directive, but is waiting on approval of some elements of the package by the Belgian and Czech governments, before it introduces new rules at midnight on Monday 20 June At the end of last week the Commission’s… – Continue reading