FISC discusses Irish tax system
The hearing took place on 16 June and was a part of the Subcommittee on tax matters’ (FISC) hearing series on “Case studies on member states national tax”. The purpose of the hearing was to gather insights from experts on the corporate tax reforms implemented or planned in Ireland to address tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. It also assessed Ireland’s interaction with other national tax systems primarily in the EU but also with main economic partners outside the EU.The hearing provided an opportunity to examine the remaining challenges and lessons to be learned for the EU and the other member states in the combat against aggressive tax systems. A recording of the hearing is available.
FISC hold hearing on 2 new studies prepared for the Committee
The hearing took place on 27 June, and hosted professors Emer Mulligan (National University of Ireland Galway) and Jost Heckemeyer (Kiel University) as expert speakers.
Professor Heckmeyer described main tax distortions and obstacles in the EU Internal Market, as documented in his study. Professor Mulligan, for her part, provided a comparative analysis of the regulatory framework of tax intermediaries in a group of five countries (Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Italy and UK). On that basis, she assessed whether and which best practices could be promoted at EU level and, if relevant, whether EU regulation, in the form of legislation or soft law, could be recommended. She highlighted the need to better address ethical dimensions of taxation in tax planning.
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FISC Committee discusses tax policies with Commissioner Gentiloni
At a later hearing on the same day (27 June), the FISC Committee hosted Commissioner Gentiloni to discuss the EC’s tax work.
MEPs focused their questions on how to resolve the impasse on the EU’s Pillar 2 Directive (see article below). Gentiloni did not appear keen to try to avoid the Council unanimity rule to get over EU Member States’ national vetoes for Pillar 2, insisting instead on the need to build a strong consensus. However, he did say that it is high time to use Article 116 of the EU Treaties to address specific tax related distortions in the EU Single Market. Moreover, Gentiloni said that the Commission would take stock in June 2023 about international progress on Pillar 1.
Moreover, MEP Paul Tang (S&D/Netherlands), Chair of the FISC Committee, expressed his support for the Commission’s upcoming initiative to address ‘enablers’ of tax planning.
ECON adopts position on taxation of cryptoassets
MEPs adopted on 30 June a non-binding resolution calling for a better use of blockchain to fight tax evasion and for Member States to coordinate more on the taxing of crypto assets.
The resolution, drafted by MEP Lídia Pereira (EPP/Portugal), was adopted by the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) with 40 votes in favour and 1 abstention. It sets out a framework through which both goals of using blockchain in taxation and better taxing crypto assets can be achieved.
It calls on the Commission to assess how different Member States tax crypto assets and identify different national policies to fight against tax evasion in crypto assets. The resolution also calls for a clear definition of crypto assets and what constitutes a taxable event. It also calls on the Commission to better integrate the use of blockchain into different fora and programmes dealing with taxation and cooperation, and for Member States to modernise their tax administrations.
A final vote in Plenary is currently scheduled for 12 September.
Parliament adopts resolution condemning Council veto undermining Pillar 2
MEPs condemned certain EU Member States for abusing their veto power on taxation in a resolution adopted on 6 July by 450 votes in favour, 132 against and 55 abstentions. The resolution calls for a new debate on moving to qualified majority voting on tax proposals and condemns Hungary’s veto of the Pillar 2 Directive (see article below). In this regard, the resolution also calls on the EC and Member States not to engage in political bargaining and refrain from approving Hungary’s national recovery plan unless all criteria are met.