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Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy

The Commission High Level Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy has examined the best ways of taxing the digital economy in the EU, weighing up both the benefits and risks of various approaches. Its focus was on identifying the key problems with digital taxation from an EU perspective, and presenting a range of possible solutions.

The group was chaired by Vítor Gaspar, a former finance minister of Portugal and brought together six experts from across Europe with different backgrounds and expertise relevant to the subject.

Given the pace at which the digital economy develops, rapid progress in developing a taxation response was necessary. Therefore, the expert group started its work before the end of 2013 and reported back to the Commission on 28 May 2014. The Commission will develop any necessary EU initiatives to improve the tax framework for the digital sector in Europe. The Group met four times: a first meeting of the group took place on 12 December 2013; a second meeting was held on 14-15 January 2014, a third meeting on 13-14 March 2014 and a fourth meeting on 24-25 April 2014.

At the same time, the EU continues to contribute actively to the work underway at global level in this sphere, within the context of the OECD's BEPS (Base erosion and profit shifting). The aim is to ensure a coherent and complementary approach to digital taxation at EU and international level.

What's new?

  • On 28 May 2014, the Expert Group presented its Reportpdf(2.25 Mb) to President Barroso.
  • On 24-25 April the Expert Group held their fourth and final meeting. See the Summary Recordpdf(26 kB).

What happened before

  • On 13-14 March the Expert Group held their third meeting. See the Summary Recordpdf(30 kB).
  • On 14-15 January the Expert Group held their second meeting. See the Summary Recordpdf(29 kB).
  • On 12 December 2013 the Expert Group held their first meeting. See the summary recordpdf(29 kB).
  • On 25 November 2013 the Commission appointed the members of the High Level Expert Group on Taxation of the Digital Economy from the respondents to the Call for Applications.  On 8 November the closing date for applicationspdf Choose translations of the previous link  passed. In total six experts from across Europe with different backgrounds and expertise relevant to the subject were informed of their selection.
  • On 24/25 October 2013 the European Council welcomed the Commission's initiative to set up an expert group on taxation of the digital economy.
  • On 22 October 2013 the Commission adopted a Decision setting up the Expert Grouppdf Choose translations of the previous link  . On 24 October, the call for applicationspdf Choose translations of the previous link  for the selection of members of the Expert Group was launched.
  • On 22 May the European Council pointed out that efforts are required to respond to the challenges of taxation in the digital economy.

Operation

The Expert Group met in total four times and reported back to the Commission on 28 May 2014. It was chaired by Vítor Gaspar, a former finance minister of Portugal.

 

Membership

In line with article 4(1) of the Commission Decision of 22 October 2013, C (2013) 7082pdf Choose translations of the previous link  , Members of the Expert Group were internationally renowned experts on the digital economy and on taxation.

The Call for Applications to select the Experts was launched on 24 October 2013 and closed on 8 November 2013. Each application received was reviewed in accordance with the criteria published in the Call for Applications and the 6 who best fulfilled the criteria were selected.

Experts selected as members

  • Mr Pierre Collin from the French Conseil  d'Etat;
  • Mr Michael Peter Devereux from Oxford University of Oxford;
  • Mr Jim Hagemann Snabe, co CEO of SAP AG;
  • Ms Tea Varrak from Innovation and Business Centre ‘Mektory’ in Estonia;
  • Ms Mary Walsh, Consultant in Ireland;
  • Mr Björn Westberg from Jonkoping International Business School In Sweden.

Key documents: