On Tuesday 13 March, the European Finance Ministers reached a political agreement on the proposed directive on the transparency for tax intermediaries. The more relevant change adopted by the Council relates to the overreporting danger, that was limited because the scope of reportable cross-border tax schemes has finally been narrowed. The directive is mandatory for the Member States, that shall adopt the respective regulations by 31 December 2019 with the new reporting requirements entering into force on 1 July 2020. The first exchange of information between Member States will take place by 31 October 2020 and then every three months.
During the plenary session of March, the European Parliament appointed the 45 members that will constitute the new special committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (TAX3). Among others, the mandate of this committee is focussed around the completion of the work carried out by the TAXE 1, TAXE 2 and PANA committees. The TAX3 committee is also expected to contribute to the ongoing debate on the taxation of the digital economy and to follow up on the progress of the Member States in ending tax practices which allow for tax avoidance and/or tax evasion. On 22 March, at the first meeting of the committee, the MEPs will elect a chair, deputy chairs and rapporteurs.
On 15 March, the European Parliament adopted the reports on CCTB and CCCTB respectively drafted by Paul Tang and Alain Lamassoure, that were approved by the ECON Committee on 21 February. Among others, the main points are the provision to introduce the concept of virtual permanent establishment and the turnover threshold for groups required to file the CCCTB (€750 million, to be lowered to zero after seven years). Furthermore, the parliamentary committee agreed on a tax credit of 10% of the costs for research and development, as long as these costs do not exceed €20 million. The approved reports will be passed to the Commission and Council for their consideration.
On 13 March, the European finance ministers have modified the EU blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions by including Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands and St Kitts and Nevis and removing Bahrain, the Marshall Islands and St Lucia. As a result of both moves, the blacklist would maintain nine jurisdictions: the longstanding American Samoa, Guam, Namibia, Palau, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago and the newcomers Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands and St Kitts and Nevis.