Tax Policy

March 2020

  • European Commission clarifies timeline for its upcoming tax initiatives
  • European Commission concludes tax divergences a major obstacle for SMEs in the EU Single Market
  • OECD declares coronavirus will not affect its timeline for international tax reform

European Commission

New Commission Single Market barrier report finds tax a major obstacle for SMEs

The European Commission has published a report that identified remaining Single Market barriers for companies.

Interestingly, the report finds that the lack of tax harmonisation remains one of the main obstacles faced by business when operating cross-border. It therefore calls for further efforts to reduce tax divergences and to reconsider the unanimity requirement in the Council.

The report also underlines that these tax divergencies are even greater for SMEs than other companies, and constitute a major barrier for SMEs’ operations across borders.

The report’s recommendations are not legally binding, but will inform the Commission’s future actions. Read more

Commission publishes circular economy action plan calling for greener VAT

The European Commission has published its circular economy Action Plan, which outlines the Commission’s views for what measures are needed to foster a more sustainable economy in Europe.

One of the measures that the Commission highlights in the Action Plan is green VAT. More specifically, the Commission wants to enable Member States to use VAT rates to promote circular economy activities that target final consumers, notably repair services. Read more

Commission clarifies timeline for upcoming tax initiatives

The European Commission has clarified the timeline for its upcoming major tax initiatives. On 10 June, the Commission will publish its Action Plan on the fight against tax fraud. And on 24 June, the Commission will publish its Communication for business taxation in the 21st century.

For further indications of what should be expected from these initiatives, see the previous Tax Policy Update and this article from Tax Journal.

Commission launches survey on transmission and exchange of payment data to fight VAT fraud

The European Commission has launched a survey for actors in  the payment industry in order to gather their views on the implementation of the legislative package on the transmission  and exchange of payment data in order to fight VAT fraud. The survey is open until 17 April. Read more

OECD international tax reform timeline not affected by corona virus

The OECD has confirmed that at least for the time being, the coronavirus crisis will not affect its planned timeline for international tax reforms. The OECD is aiming to reach political agreement in July on new international rules for taxing the digital economy and on minimum taxation. Read more

Group of European countries agree on tax for frontier workers during corona-crisis

As reported by Agency Europe, on 19 March France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Switzerland agreed to limit as much as possible the tax consequences of keeping frontier workers at home due to national containment measures in the face of the corona virus.

The tax treaties signed by the countries provide for exclusive taxation of the salaries of frontier workers in their state of residence, provided that they do not exceed a certain number of days worked outside the border area of the other state. Read moreThis curated content was brought to you by Johan Barros, Accountancy Europe policy manager since 2015. You can send him tips by email, follow him on Twitter and connect with him on LinkedIn.