Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

EU & BEPS: Next steps

The EU, now recognized as the accelerator of BEPS for its Member States, have issued a roadmap of priorities and objectives for the near future.  A link to Deloitte’s World Tax Advisor is provided, and the attached article therein.

I have highlighted certain parts of the roadmap worth watching:

  • Country-by-Country reporting (will there be a consistent EU standard?)
  • Hybrid mismatch arrangements
  • Code of Conduct activities, including alignment of transfer pricing outcomes with value creation, an extension of BEPS Actions 8-10.  (Note Sweden and UK are already using such Actions re: clarification of existing transfer pricing policy)
  • Payments from an EU to non-EU country
  • The EU Arbitration Convention is mentioned, although it’s practical effect on mitigating dispute resolution is limited

http://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/Tax/dtt-tax-worldtaxadvisor-160226.pdf

European Union:
Dutch presidency issues EU-BEPS roadmap

The Netherlands, which currently holds the presidency of the council of the EU, issued an ambitious EU-BEPS “roadmap” on 19 February 2016 that sets out plans to move forward with previous EU proposals, as well as future efforts on areas relating to the OECD’s base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) project. The roadmap includes the following:

  • Possibly including a minimum effective taxation clause in the EU interest and royalties directive, and also possibly including or referring to the OECD “modified nexus approach” (however, no mention is made of the previous proposals to reduce the shareholding requirement in the directive from 25% to 10%, add legal entities to the annex or remove the “direct” holding requirement);
  • Reaching consensus on the anti-avoidance directive proposed by the European Commission on 28 January 2016 (for prior coverage, see World Tax Advisor, 12February 2016);URL: http://newsletters.usdbriefs.com/2016/Tax/WTA/160212_1.html
  • Reaching agreement on the European Commission’s proposal to introduce the OECD BEPS minimum standard for country-by-country reporting in the EU;
  • Initiating discussions for reforming the EU Code of Conduct group (specifically, the group’s governance, transparency and working methods), followed by discussions on a revision to the mandate in relation to the concept that profits are subject, as appropriate, to an effective level of tax within the EU;
  • Reaching agreement on guidance and explanatory notes on hybrid permanent establishment mismatches in situations involving third countries;
  • Continuing to monitor the legislative process necessary to revise existing patent box regimes; and
  • Monitoring and exchanging views on the BEPS developments relating to tax treaties concluded by EU member states, the OECD multilateral instrument to modify tax treaties and the European Commission’s recent recommendations on the implementation of measures to combat tax treaty abuse. 

     

     

    The Code of Conduct group will start work on the following:

  • Preparing EU guidance on aligning transfer pricing outcomes with value creation, in accordance with BEPS actions 8-10;
  • Identifying potential issues that arise when payments are made from the EU to a non- EU country;
  • Assessing the opportunity for developing EU guidance for implementing the conclusions on BEPS action 12 (the disclosure of aggressive tax planning), notably, with a view to facilitating the exchange of information between tax authorities; and
  • Developing guidelines on the conditions and rules for the issuance of tax rulings by EU member states.Additionally, the High Level Working Party on Taxation may discuss the current situation regarding the EU arbitration convention that allows the settlement of transfer pricing disputes.

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