Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New EU proposals on tax and transparency

From the EU:

"The European Commission today has adopted a Communication identifying actions that EU Member States should take to promote "good governance" in the tax area (i.e. more transparency, exchange of information and fair tax competition). The Communication identifies how good governance could be improved within the EU. It also lists the tools the EU and its Member States have at their disposal to ensure that good governance principles are applied at international level. Finally, it calls on Member States to adopt an approach that is more coherent with good governance principles in their bilateral relations with third countries and in international fora."

This is welcome news, and specific parts are most welcome. Here are some (abridged) examples that we like:
  • Ensure effective administrative cooperation in the assessment of taxes and recovery of tax claims;
  • Improve the functioning of the Savings Tax Directive. There is a need to extend the scope of the Directive to intermediate tax-exempted structures (trust, foundations...) and to income equivalent to interest obtained through investments in some innovative financial products.
  • To discuss with Member States possible counter-measures towards non cooperative jurisdictions in the tax area.
  • More coherence between Member States' own bilateral tax policies towards third countries and the principles of good governance in the tax area.
Good. The text of the full proposals are here. We will return to this theme.

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