Pascal Saint – Amans: Digital Tax Agreement by October

Speaking at a conference organised by the Government of Ireland, Pascal Saint-Amans, the OECD Tax Director confirmed the agreed timeline for reaching a global agreement on digital tax. Pascal Saint – Amans said that the G20 meeting of the finance ministers in July is still the tentative deadline for an agreement to be reached, however some details may need to be agreed until October, the date of the subsequent G20 meeting.

Concerning the corporate minimum tax rate, Saint – Amans confirmed it will be below the US-proposed 21%. It is widely expected that the rate will be settled in the range around 15%, rather than 21% as suggested by the United States, in order to “accommodate Ireland’s 12.5% rate”. “There is momentum, there is a new dynamic that is likely to bring us to a resolution. With adoption of the two pillars will come the need to stabilise the system and to provide for peace — tax peace. We haven’t had tax peace for too long.”, the OECD tax director said.

Benjamin Angel, European Commission Director for Direct Taxation at DG TAXUD, speaking at the same event said that the EU is keen to proceed with its own proposals on digital levy this summer, noting that the Commission does not intend to create obstacles to the digitalisation of the European economy, which is an EU policy priority. Key consideration in designing the levy is to avoid discrimination of non-resident companies or tensions with the United States. Mr Angel highlighted that the EU digital levy has nothing to do with the negotiations held at the OECD at present.

Fabrizia Lapecorella New Chair of OECD’s Fiscal Committee

The OECD members have appointed Fabrizia Lapecorella, Director General at the Italian Ministry of Finance, as new Chair of the Committee of Fiscal Affairs, replacing Germany’s Martin Kreienbaum, effective 1 January 2022. Ms Lapecorella holds a PhD in Economics from the University of York, United Kingdom and has held high-level positions in international tax policy at the OECD, the EU and the Italian Government.

At the highest EU level, Ms Lapecorella chaired the Code of Conduct Group for Business Taxation, instrumental in establishment of the EU ‘blacklist’ of non-cooperative jurisdictions for taxation purposes, monitoring of potential aggressive tax measures in the EU member states and the transparency and reform of the Code of Conduct group.

Commenting the appointment, Martin Kreienbaum, current Chair of the Committee of Fiscal Affairs said: “I am very pleased that the members have selected Fabrizia Lapecorella to lead the CFA. She is well known to the Committee and brings a wealth of experience in tax policy and is well-versed in both the technical and political dimensions. I look forward to working with her over the remainder of my term to ensure a smooth transition,” Mr Kreienbaum added.

European Parliament: Lack of Progress in Reforming Code of Conduct Group

Speaking at the last meeting of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Taxation (FISC), Lyudmila Petkova, Chair of EU’s Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation), informed Members of the European Parliament that the EU finance ministers have not given her mandate to improve the governance structure of the Code of Conduct Group. Ms Petkova noted, however, the progress in reforming the assessment framework designed to assess Member states’ corporate tax systems.

The Committee members expressed their concern on the lack of progress on reviewing the Group’s governance structure, highlighting recent positive developments in taxation policy coming from the administration of President Biden. A number of MEPs noted that the positive change in Washington might facilitate reforms in the EU and inspire a more progressive approach towards corporate taxation.

The European Parliament adopted a Resolution on 21 January, calling for reform of the Code of Conduct Group due to inefficiencies identified in the ‘blacklisting’ process.

OECD Updated Report on COVID-19 Fiscal Measures

The OECD has published an updated report (spreadsheet) containing national measures/ Fiscal Policy Response to the COVID-19 Crisis. The updated report provides an overview of the tax measures introduced during the COVID-19 crisis across 66 countries and jurisdictions since the outbreak of the pandemic. The report also contains measures developed by the 53 member jurisdictions of the Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) together with the OECD, to support taxpayers and review business continuity arrangements.

Register Now: CFE Forum  – Tax Transparency, Exchange of Information & Digital Commerce – 6 May 2021

Registration is now open for the CFE Tax Advisers Europe Forum 2021, to be held virtually on Thursday, 6 May 2021.

The first panel will comprise a keynote speech by Pascal Saint-Amans, Director of the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration. Panellists from the European Commission, European Court of Auditors, academia and practice will then discuss cross-border exchange of information in the EU, and implications for taxpayers’ rights, including use of information by tax authorities. To register to attend Panel 1, please follow this link.

The second panel will comprise panellists from the European Commission, digital platforms and practice, and will examine the topic of VAT in the digital economy, in respect of the abolition of distance sales rules and making platforms liable for VAT on sales from outside the EU. To register to attend Panel 2, please follow this link.

The selection of the remitted material has been prepared by:
Piergiorgio Valente/ Aleksandar Ivanovski/ Brodie McIntosh/ Filipa Correia