Category: European Parliament

EU to launch tax observatory

The EU’s awareness of the relevance of tax policy is clear. On 6 July, the European Commission called for proposals for the creation of an EU tax observatory. This follows the adoption of the Commission Decision on the financing of the preparatory action EU Tax Observatory – Capacity building to support Union policy making in the area of taxation and the adoption of the annual work programme for 2020 on 16 June. ... - Continue reading

How Will the UK Deal With Crypto After Brexit: Expert Take

The United Kingdom and the European Union failed to reach an agreement on an orderly uncoupling, which is a major geopolitical and strategic event, with global implications. Uncertainty about the outcome of the Brexit referendum has already started to weaken growth in the U.K. — which is expected to get… – Continue reading

MEPs Back Plans To Tighten Tax Planning Reporting Rules

EU MEPs have supported plans to require intermediaries promoting aggressive, cross-border tax schemes to report those plans to the authorities. Under the proposal, service providers who design or promote such plans would be required to provide details of their schemes in a central directory. The disclosed information would then be… – Continue reading


Businesses must report to a central EU database which will pass information onto their respective national tax authority THE EU has dealt a blow to businesses contributing to cross-border tax avoidance. MEPs overwhelmingly voted to back a new proposal which states that companies must now report their plans for any… – Continue reading

EU launches formal Paradise probe

MEPs follow UK Treasury approach Allegations the Isle of Man was used as a base for international tax evasion have triggered a fresh investigation in the European Parliament. It comes precisely three months after the Paradise Papers claimed to expose widespread exploitation of VAT loopholes facilitated by the Island’s aircraft… – Continue reading

Top 10 tax developments 2017

Calendar 2017 saw significant advances in the Australian Tax Office armoury, both through Court wins and new or pending legislation. The Tax Commissioner openly now claims the upper hand in corporate and multi-national tax compliance. The Senate seems almost becalmed!? This note outlines our selection of 10 key things that… – Continue reading

MEPs Approve PANA Committee Tax Recommendations

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have approved the recommendations made by the European Parliament’s special committee on tax avoidance and evasion, calling for open registers of beneficial owners, effective protections for whistleblowers, and new rules for intermediaries. On December 13, MEPs approved the recommendations made by Parliament’s Special Inquiry… – Continue reading

PANA committee calls for increased focus on virtual currencies, new technologies such as FinTech

The European Parliament’s PANA Committee has approved draft recommendations calling for increased scrutiny and regulation of emerging technologies, including virtual currencies and FinTech. The committee also approved a report delving into the findings of an 18-month probe into breaches of EU law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and… – Continue reading

EU lawmakers pass new rules to tackle multinationals’ tax avoidance

The European Parliament on Tuesday passed a directive requiring big multinationals to report tax and financial data separately in all countries where they operate, a measure aimed at tackling tax avoidance and profit shifting to countries with lower taxes. The new rules are part of a wider overhaul of tax… – Continue reading

Strengthened EU rules to tackle money laundering, tax avoidance and terrorism financing enter into force

The Juncker Commission has made the fight against tax avoidance, money laundering and terrorism financing one of its priorities. Today, the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive enters into force. It strengthens the existing rules and will make the fight against money laundering and terrorism financing more effective. It also improves transparency… – Continue reading

Malta Outlines Last Offer on Public Country-by-Country Reports

European Union-based multinational companies that exceed consolidated revenue of 750 million euros ($840 million) for two consecutive years would have to report publicly on taxes paid, profits earned, and persons employed on a country-by-country basis, under a proposal from Malta. Malta holds the EU presidency, a position it will turn… – Continue reading

Commission welcomes adoption of new rules to block #TaxAvoidance

The agreed rules will stop companies from escaping tax by exploiting the mismatches between Member States’ and non-EU countries’ tax systems (“hybrid mismatches”). Today’s (29 May) agreement completes the Anti Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD) which ensures that binding and robust anti-abuse measures are applied throughout the Single Market. “Our campaign… – Continue reading

Lawyers as “Gate Keepers” – The European Parliament Examines the Roles of Attorneys in Tax Evasion and Laundering Schemes

Starting on April 27, and finishing on May 2, the European Parliament (EP)’s Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) is holding two meetings to present several related studies which address the impact of, and the fight against, tax evasion and money laundering, particularly in… – Continue reading

€8 billion annual risk of money laundering

Malta’s threat places it 20th out of 27 states, Pana Committee told Malta faces an annual €8 billion money laundering risk, according to figures quoted in a study presented to the European Parliament’s Pana committee. The committee, which visited Malta in February for a fact-finding mission on the island’s involvement… – Continue reading

EU Lawmakers Visit IRS, Delaware as Tax Haven Concerns Mount

The European Parliament’s Panama Papers investigative committee is preparing for a “fact-finding” visit with counterparts in the U.S. Congress, as well as officials from the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service. The European Union lawmakers’ four-day U.S. trip, which begins March 21, will include a visit to Delaware for meetings… – Continue reading

EU wants stricter transparency rules on ownership to prevent tax evasion and fight Money Laundering

The European Parliament’s Monetary Affairs and Civil Liberties committees’ overwhelming support for access by EU citizens to information concerning the beneficial owners of companies without having to demonstrate a ‘legitimate interest’ and trusts would have to meet the same requirements. MEPs agreed the on their position on EU Anti-Money Laundering… – Continue reading

German, Swedish Banks Back Tougher Beneficial Owner Rules

German banks support stricter beneficial ownership rules for companies and trusts, while the leading Scandinavian bank backed an offshore corporate economic substance test to help comply with EU laws against money laundering and tax evasion. Testifying before the European Parliament’s Panama Papers investigative committee, the Association of German Banks told… – Continue reading

Netherlands ‘will block UK-EU deal without tax avoidance measures’

Trade agreement would have to include strict rules to prevent Britain becoming offshore haven, Dutch deputy PM says The Netherlands will block any EU trade deal with the UK unless it signs up to tough tax avoidance regulations preventing it from becoming an attractive offshore haven for multinationals and the… – Continue reading

Malta’s stand on anti-money-laundering rules is ‘in line with EU’ – OPM

Centralised company registers will now detail who ultimate beneficiaries are. Malta’s stand on amendments seen as ‘watering down’ anti-money-laundering rules are in line with the EU’s position, a spokesman for the Office of the Prime Minister told the Times of Malta. EU governments have just agreed to create centralised company… – Continue reading

EU Mulls ‘Substance Test’ to Determine Zero-Rate Tax Havens

European Union member countries are considering a “substance test” to determine whether a country or jurisdiction with a zero corporate tax rate qualifies as a tax haven that doesn’t reflect “real economic activity.” After a host of EU member countries rejected in early November the use of a zero corporate… – Continue reading

MEPs back automatic exchange of bank data

Tax authorities across Europe will be able to automatically share information about bank account holders, according to a Council position approved by the European Parliament on November 22. It was passed by 590 votes to 32 votes, with 64 abstentions. According to a European Parliament press release, the new rules… – 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

Multinationals still able to use ‘double Irish’ tax arrangement after 2020

Multinational companies will still be able to use the controversial “double Irish” tax arrangement after the final end date of 2020, Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said. A number of tax experts have confirmed this is the case, though they have disputed whether the terms of which they will… – 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

German chemicals firm BASF avoided nearly €1bn in tax, says report

Network of foreign subsidiaries reported key to €923 million windfall over five years German chemicals manufacturer BASF has been accused of avoiding close to €1 billion of tax. In a report published on Monday, the company is alleged to have used aggressive tax-planning strategies in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and… – 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

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

European commission to resurrect overarching corporate tax proposals

Proposed legislation is designed to curb the profit-shifting multinationals use to reduce tax liabilities on their income in Europe The European commission will redouble its crackdown on multinational tax avoidance next week with the relaunch of proposals to create an overarching corporation tax regime across all member states. The proposed… – 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

Civil Society proposes to step up measures to fight money laundering and terrorist financing

EESC debate also calls for safeguards against misuse of data collected An EESC debate this week on fighting money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion called for a number of policy proposals aimed at “making the lives of criminals more difficult and their actions impossible”. The Brussels event made a… – 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

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

Luxembourg Proposes Law To Enact Global Tax Reporting Rules

Companies doing business in Luxembourg will be required to file global tax information now that the nation has released draft legislation to implement new international tax reporting rules. The rules—known as country-by-country reporting—would require companies to submit a global blueprint outlining the location of their operations, taxes paid, income earned,… – 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

EU Parliament calls for crackdown on corporate tax avoidance Proposal based on OECD action plan

Members of the EU Parliament have welcomed an EU Commission proposal for an anti-tax avoidance directive but demanded tougher rules on foreign income and stricter limits on deductions of interest payments. They also called for more transparency for trust funds and foundations, common rules for “patent box” tax reductions on… – Continue reading

Irish corporate tax regime attacked in EU debate

Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy has launched a stinging attack on Ireland’s corporate tax regime, arguing that Ireland’s reputation as an “enabler of massive tax avoidance for large corporations” is justified. Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday, the Midlands-North West MEP criticised the last government’s move to abolish the… – Continue reading

EU finance ministers fail to agree on anti tax avoidance directive

The EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) has been unable to reach agreement on the European Commission’s proposed anti tax avoidance directive. The issue has therefore been postponed until the next ECOFIN meeting in June. The European Commission announced its proposed anti-tax avoidance directive (ATAD) in January. The proposed… – Continue reading

Value Chain and Your Business: How do BEPS, transfer pricing and the new union customs code interact?

OECD BEPS guidance, outlining new standards for tax transparency and transfer pricing documentation, and the new union customs code, containing important changes to customs valuations, call for immediate action. Recent developments At the doorstep of a new era of tax transparency driven by the OECD BEPS project, the new Union… – Continue reading

US should be added to tax haven blacklist, says EU report

Tensions between the EU and the US over tax follow investigations into Apple in Ireland The US should be added to a new European blacklist of tax havens being drawn up by the European Commission, according to a report commissioned by the Green group in the European Parliament. The report,… – Continue reading

LuxLeaks whistleblower trial begins in Luxembourg

The former PwC employee turned whistleblower behind the LuxLeaks scandal that implicated Luxembourg in industrial tax avoidance went on trial in the tiny European duchy on Tuesday. Antoine Deltour, 30, a former auditor at global accounting firm PwC, is accused of stealing documents from his employer before he quit the… – Continue reading

EU tells companies to reveal how much tax they pay by country in latest avoidance crackdown

Businesses will be forced to declare how much they make in each European country and in certain tax havens as part of an attempt to curb schemes that shift profits out of the reach of tax collectors. The plan to introduce country-by-country reporting in Europe is the latest global curb… – Continue reading

EU wants companies to disclose where they pay taxes

The European Union’s executive wants thousands of multinationals to disclose in what member states they make money and pay taxes, an effort to close loopholes and crack down on the use of tax havens. Reacting to public anger over tax avoidance by some of the globe’s best-known companies and by… – Continue reading

European Commission sets action plan for VAT simplification

The European Commission has set out a proposed action plan to modernise the EU VAT system in a move which should give more freedom to the member states The action plan will include new rules such as the implementation of key principles for a future single European VAT system, short… – Continue reading

Commission to extend state aid investigation into more transfer pricing agreements

The European Commission is looking into advance pricing agreements (APAs) given to financing companies and other businesses to see if they constitute illegal state aid, the MNE Tax news site has reported EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager told the European Parliament’s TAXE 2 committee that her office has reviewed 1,000… – Continue reading

EU Warns Multinationals: Stop Shifting Revenues to Tax Havens

Their tax avoidance is costing EU countries an estimated $80 billion per year. Multinational companies must pay taxes where they earn profits and stop using aggressive tax optimization schemes, the European Union’s Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Monday. Moscovi told French radio RTL that the EU had to put… – Continue reading

International and Irish Tax Update – March 2016

Summary The pace of change in international tax is dramatic. Each month brings new initiatives and developments at both national and supra-national levels. In this update, we focus on recent changes which are relevant to our clients. The OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) reports were finalised in October… – Continue reading