On 23 May 2018, over 100 participants from the EU institutions and multiple Member States joined the Conference on “fair taxation in a digitalized world” hosted by the European Tax Adviser Federation (ETAF) in Brussels.
Main subject of the Conference were the Commission proposals on taxing the digital economy of 21 March 2018. The ETAF Conference offered an ideal setting for Director General at DG TAXUD, Stephen Quest, to explain the background and the purpose of the Commission proposals.
In his welcoming address, ETAF President Philippe Arraou highlighted that the taxation of the digital economy is one of the core topics of ETAF since its very first day, “when we submitted Commissioner Moscovici a position paper on the taxation of the digital economy at our launching conference”, he said. Furthermore, President Arraou welcomed the Commission proposals as a basis for discussion and further developments.
Mr Quest referred to the digitalisation of the economy as a fundamental aspect of the growth of the EU. However, he insisted on the fact that one of the pillars of the work of the European institutions was to ensure fairness within the EU. “These positive developments of the digital economy have exposed the outdated nature of the international tax framework”, Quest stated.
During the first panel, stakeholders and European decision-makers further discussed the proposals of the Commission, offering their different angles. The second panel was focused on the TAX3 committee; here MEPs from the major political groups discussed with the professionals not only about the taxation of the digital economy, but also on the role of tax advisers in tackling the complexity in international taxation.