Taxation and Customs Union

Areas where the Commission is currently working

The Commission is working to address the tax obstacles facing EU citizens who are active across borders within the EU. To explore how these issues can be addressed, the Commission published a Communication in which it identified these obstacles and outlined plans for tackling them.

In this Communication, The Commission listed some suggestions made by stakeholders about how cross-border tax problems could be tackled.  These included:

  • Setting up central one-stop-shops in tax administrations where cross border workers and investors could seek reliable tax information, as well as directly pay taxes and receive all tax certificates necessary for claiming relief;
  • Promoting better interaction between the different pension taxation regimes;
  • Translating information into other EU official languages and making greater use of IT;
  • Encouraging EU countries to adopt special rules for frontier workers and cross-border workers that take account of the interaction of tax and social security systems in different EU countries .

 

Following this Communication, the Commission:

  • Proposes to pursue complaints actively and ensure greater availability of information for citizens on the results of complaints about EU countries’ tax laws and infringement cases in the tax field;
  • Proposes to provide easier  access  to the Commission's Europe Direct and Your Europecitizens' advice services, and ensure that these services can better deal with tax related questions and that citizens can more directly get help and advice;
  • Has proposed solutions concerning the cross-border problems for EU citizens in the fields of passenger car taxation in a Communication of 2012 and concerning online purchases of goods and services (see Communication of 2011);
  • Is currently assessing the state of play regarding the tax obstacles facing individuals who are active across borders within the EU and may come up with more concrete proposals for solutions when it has completed its examination;
  • Is also currently examining possible solutions to double taxation problems that are not currently resolved by bilateral tax treaties. The Commission identified possible solutions to double taxation in a Communication in 2011, including a EU countries’ Forum, a code of conduct or a binding arbitration mechanism which it is currently researching in detail. Furthermore, the Commission adopted a Recommendation addressed to EU countries on how to eliminate double taxation of inheritances in 2011;
  • Has undertaken to develop a taxpayer's code setting out practices for enhancing cooperation, trust and confidence between tax administrations and taxpayers, for ensuring greater transparency on the rights and obligations of taxpayers and encouraging a service-oriented approach. The Commission conducted a public consultation on a taxpayer’s code between March and May 2013 and is currently working with the results;
  • Issued a Recommendation in 2009 suggesting ways in which EU countries could simplify their procedures whereby non-residents could claim relief from withholding taxes on dividends and interest.