EU PROPOSES TAX RULING TRANSPARENCY LAWMay 5th, 2015
THE EUROPEAN Commission has proposed a European Union (EU) directive that would force EU member states to automatically share information about their tax rulings. Under the proposals, national tax authorities would every three months send a short report to all other member states on all their cross-border tax rulings. Governments could then ask for more detailed information. They could then adjust tax policies to take account of any resulting tax avoidance, said the Commission. *http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/company_tax/transparency/com_2015_135_en.pdf
OECD WELCOMES SWISS TAX TRANSPARENCY REFORMS
THE ORGANISATION for Economic Cooperation & Development’s (OECD) Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes has ruled Switzerland has made sufficient reforms on the subject to be peer reviewed. An OECD report on Swiss tax transparency will be released next July-December (2016). The forum noted that Switzerland had introduced a new law on international tax administrative assistance meeting OECD standards and has exchange of information mechanisms with 127 jurisdictions. The forum also released peer review reports on six jurisdictions, assessing their compliance with international tax transparency standards: five were largely compliant – Aruba, the Cook Islands, Hungary, Portugal and Uruguay; one partially compliant – Curaçao.
EU RELEASES ADVICE ON OECD FINANCIAL INFORMATION EXCHANGE
A detailed report has been released by European Union (EU) experts on how the EU and its member states should comply with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development’s standard on automatic exchange of financial account information. The European Commission’s expert group on automatic exchange of financial account information for direct taxation purposes (AEFI group) has released advice on issues such as timelines, data protection, legal definitions, due diligence on existing accounts and minimising red tape. See http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/tax_cooperation/mutual_assistance/financial_account/first_report_expert_group_automatic_exchange_financial_information.pdf
BRUSSELS EXPLAINS NEW TELECOMS VAT REGIME
THE EUROPEAN Commission has published a report explaining the new VAT regime for EU telecommunications, broadcasting and electronic services. From January 1, these are taxed within the EU in the country of the consumer, rather than the service provider. See http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/vat/how_vat_works/telecom/explanatory_notes_2015_en.pdf
EU AND SWITZERLAND CLINCH DEAL TO SHARE BANK DETAILS
THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) and Switzerland have struck an agreement to automatically exchange information on financial account information from 2018, preventing EU residents from hiding undeclared income in Swiss banks to evade tax. It means EU member states will receive annually full financial account information of EU residents with Swiss bank accounts, including names, addresses, tax identification numbers, dates of birth and balances. Formal approval of the deal is expected by July, by the EU Council of Ministers and the Swiss government. It complies with OECD tax transparency rules – see http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/tax_fraud_evasion/acting_globally/index_en.htm
BRUSSELS RELEASES PAPER ON COMMON TAX POLICIES
THE EUROPEAN Commission has released a working paper assessing potential strategies for pulling together the fiscal and taxation policies of European Union (EU) countries using the Euro. This looks at the proposals floated thus far on coordinating government expenditure and the potential for developing plans on integrating tax collection strategies. See http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/resources/documents/taxation/gen_info/economic_analysis/tax_papers/taxation_paper_54.pdf
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR BETTER EU FRAUD CHECKS
THE EUROPEAN Parliament’s budgetary control committee has called for more thorough checks on European Union (EU) institution and budget spending. In a detailed resolution, it noted that while the value of EU frauds has been falling, the number of scams has been increasing – the European Commission should better analyse cases to prevent further loss of funds, said MEPs.
It also called on EU member states – which spend and manage 80% of EU funds – and the Commission, which bears overall responsibility – to work harder to claw back more money lost to irregularities, especially in agricultural funding. The committee added that the Commission should disclose money it recovers from member states after demanding they pay back EU regional development funding that is misallocated or stolen. No such data currently exists. *http://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/cont/home.html