Taxation and Customs Union
European Commission has closed public consultation on the question of financial sector taxation. Commission received large number of contributions from all over EU. The services now will analyse them in order to take them into account in the Impact assessment.
The Commission is now carrying out a thorough analysis of all the options for taxing the financial sector, to see what the best solution could be for the EU.
The European Commission has today presented its proposal to overhaul the outdated rules on the taxation of energy products in the European Union. The new rules aim to restructure the way energy products are taxed to remove current imbalances and take into account both their CO2 emissions and energy content. Existing energy taxes would be split into two components that, taken together, would determine the overall rate at which a product is taxed.
The Commission wants to promote energy efficiency and consumption of more environmentally friendly products and to avoid distortions of competition in the Single Market. The proposal will help Member States to redesign their overall tax structures in a way that contributes to growth and employment by shifting taxation from labour to consumption. The revised Directive would enter into force as of 2013. Long transitional periods for the full alignment of taxation of the energy content, until 2023, will leave time for industry to adapt to the new taxation structure.
Commissioner Šemeta, in charge of Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud opened this morning a High-Level Seminar hosted by the Hungarian Presidency of the EU in Budapest, under the Customs 2013 Programme. The event gathers the Directors-General and other representatives of customs administrations from EU Member States and the European Commission, Candidate countries and the Eastern neighbours of the EU (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine) as well as Serbia.
Commissioner's speech in the "Europe's tax agenda for the future" ETPF and CEPS conference Brussels, 11 April 2011
Today, 11 April 2011, Commissioner Šemeta has delivered a keyonote speech on Europe's tax agenda for the future in the joint conference of European Tax Forum and Centre for European Policy Studies.
In his speech Commissioner stated: "the current economic environment, and the challenges our Members States are facing in terms of fiscal policies indeed show how crucial EU tax policy coordination is in our interdependent economies. This is more than natural as taxation is at the cross-roads of most of our current common challenges: smart consolidation, business competitiveness and fair competition."
Having set it as a background for further debate, Commissioner focused in his speech on financial sector taxation, corporate taxes, tax obstacles faced by citizens and CO2 taxation.
In a letter sent to the US tax authorities this morning, the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the European Commission invited the US authorities to engage in a dialogue on how to best achieve the objectives of the US Foreign Account Tax compliance Act (FATCA). FATCA is a US legislation intended to ensure that US tax authorities obtain information on investments by US residents in foreign financial institutions, including European financial institutions. In this regard it pursues goals similar to those of the EU Savings Tax Directive which provides for an exchange of information between tax authorities of EU Member States. However, FACTA could impose a significant compliance burden on EU financial institutions (including banks, investment funds and insurance companies). In light of the information exchange tools that already exist between tax administrations, and given the ongoing discussions on extending the scope of the Savings Tax Directive, which is a priority for the Hungarian Presidency and the Commission, the Hungarian Presidency and the Commission invited the US authorities to consider exploiting possible synergies to achieve their common goals in a cost-effective and business-friendly way.
Today, the Chair of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council, Hungarian Finance Minister Mr. György Matolcsy and EU Commissioner in charge of Taxation Algirdas Šemeta sent a joint letter to US Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Douglas H. Shulman, Internal Revenue Service Commissioner, about the potential negative effects that FATCA could have on the EU financial industry.
Speech of Commissioner Šemeta "Tax coordination in Europe: The way forward after the Euro Plus Pact"
Talking at the European House Ambrosetti in Cernobbio (Italy) about the "Outlook for Financial Markets, for their Governance and for Finance", Algirdas Šemeta EU Commissioner in charge of Taxation said:
"I am convinced that in a globalised economy, a coordinated tax approach is the most efficient way forward. The "Euro Plus Pact" rightly advocates for a pragmatic tax coordination to support our enhanced economic coordination. Taxation is at the cross-road of 3 of our common challenges:
Smart consolidation: Particular attention has to be given to tax reforms.Environmental taxation is an interesting candidate in the search for shifting tax away from labour.
Business competitiveness: Companies currently spend a lot of time and money on corporate tax compliance obligations and suffer from over taxation. We proposed to offer businesses a common way to compute and consolidate corporate tax bases in the EU, the CCCTB.
And fair competition: Our Code of Conduct on business taxation is our principal tool to ensure transparency and trust. We need to make further progress on various topics such as fighting VAT fraud and reaching agreement on taxation of savings."