Tax transparency: country-by-country reporting shall now be made public

On 12 April, the European Commission launched a new proposal for a Directive which imposes on multinational groups the publication of a yearly report on the profit and tax paid and other tax-related information. Only recently, on 8 March 2016, the EU Finance Ministers unanimously agreed on corresponding reporting obligations of multinational groups, however only vis-à-vis their respective national tax authorities. The new proposal is about the additional publication of this information.

VAT Action Plan of the European Commission

On 23 March 2016, the European Commission published its VAT Action Plan for the coming years. The overall objective is to modernise the current VAT framework. As one of the main points, the Action Plan provides a review of the current rules for VAT rates. The Commission explicitly regrets that e-books and e-newspapers cannot benefit from reduced rates under the current regime. It also states that it would be "slow and difficult" for the Member States to extend reduced rates to new areas, because such decisions always require unanimity among the 28 member states.