EU Commission Publishes Roadmap on Business Taxation for the 21st Century

The EU Commission has published a Roadmap concerning its upcoming Communication on Business Taxation for the 21st Century, which will present the Commission’s plan for reforming EU corporate taxation to be “fit for the realities of the modern global economy”.

The Roadmap identifies issues such as adapting to the challenges of digitalisation, post-COVID economic recovery, an aging population, sustainable green taxation policies and the patchwork of corporate tax systems in the Single Market leading to tax competition as underpinning the strategy that will be unveiled in the Communication.

The Roadmap also states that the Commission will “take stock of the discussion in international fora on reforming the international tax system and present its vision for a way forward to ensure that the EU business taxation system fits the modern economy”.

The Roadmap details that the Communication will contain plans for the short-medium and medium-long term for actions to the taken by the Commission. It is expected the Communication will be published in April. In the interim, input can be provided on the Roadmap until 1 April 2021, via the Have Your Say portal.

Declaration on the Future of Europe Conference

The Council of the EU has approved a Declaration on the Conference on the Future of Europe, to be co-signed by the European Parliament and Commission.

Under the Conference on the Future of Europe, the Joint Presidency (comprised of the President of the European Parliament, the President of the Council and the President of the European Commission), will assess “areas where the European Union has the competence to act, or where EU action would benefit European citizens, focusing on topics that truly matter to citizens, with long lasting impacts and wide outreach. The Conference will facilitate a discussion of the challenges the EU is facing, including those brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting the Strategic Agenda of the EU, it should also address policy topics such as climate change, economic and social issues, and the digital transformation.”

The work of the Conference will be commenced by way of a formal event on 9 May, Europe’s Day, in Strasbourg. A Conference plenary session will be held every 6 months to review progress, and conclusions and guidance on the Future of Europe is anticipated in Spring of 2022.

EU Professional Services Regulation Roadmap Published

The European Commission has published a Roadmap concerning a planned Communication which will recommend reform of the EU framework on the regulation of professional services. The Communication will update a recommendation issued by the Commission in 2017 to reform regulation for professional services, in particular for lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, patent agents, tourist guides and real-estate agents. The new Communication will also extend to cover notaries. The Commission aims to “assist Member States in creating a regulatory environment that is conducive to growth, innovation and job creation”.

According to the Commission, the economic potential that remains unrealised due to excessively restrictive regulation for professional services has been estimated at 85 billion Euros over 2010-2018, and “a well-functioning professional-services sector can be a significant source of economic growth and welfare, and the smooth functioning of this sector will be important for achieving a robust economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis”.

The new Communication will accordingly update the 2017 recommendations to reflect developments in Member States’ regulatory framework, and encourage reform it sees as necessary, taking into account developments in digitalisation and innovation within individual sectors. No formal public consultation is planned, but competent authorities of the Member States will be consulted. Input can be provided on the Roadmap via the Have Your Say portal until 1 April 2020. The Communication will be published in the coming months.

OECD Tax Talks Webinar Update

The OECD held the latest Tax Talks webinar on Thursday 4 March from 16:00-17:00 CET, covering the state of play of Inclusive Framework work on the tax challenges of the digitalisation of the economy, the work of the G20, tax treaties and transfer pricing responses to COVID-19, BEPS implementation and tax transparency, amongst other topics.

The OECD and G20 believe that a solution for taxation of the digital economy can be agreed at the Finance Ministers meeting on 9 July 2021, particularly given that new US Secretary of Treasury Dr Janet Yellen confirmed that President Biden’s administration is ready to drop the ‘safe harbour’ requirement, a key obstacle to an international agreement on Pillar One concerning taxation of the digital economy. The webinar update detailed the technical and political issues that remain in finalising agreement.

The update webinar is available for replay via the OECD Tax Talks webpage.

Save the Date: CFE Tax Advisers Europe Forum 2021 – 6 May 2021

Save the date for the CFE Tax Advisers Europe Forum 2021, to be held virtually on Thursday, 6 May 2021.

The Forum will welcome tax experts from practice and academia, as well as representatives from the EU Commission and OECD, and will comprise a two-panel programme examining direct and indirect tax issues facing tax advisers. The first panel will discuss cross-border exchange of information in the EU, and implications for taxpayers’ rights, including use of information by tax authorities. The second panel 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.

More details about the timing of the panels, speakers, and how to register for the Forum will be made available in due course.

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