Weekly Tax News – 24 September 2018

September 24, 2018

Moscovici announces proposal to abandon unanimity principle in tax matters

On 18 September, the EU Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici announced a proposal for January/February 2019 in order to shift away from the unanimity principle towards the regular legislative procedure in tax matters, as it is already the case with most other policy areas. He stated this intention in a speech at the inter-parliamentary conference on stability, economic coordination and governance in the EU in Vienna on Tuesday. Moscovici is known as a supporter of this idea since quite a while. He called for such a move already in October 2017 vis-à-vis the European Parliament.

This would mean a significant change in the legislative procedure in tax matters, because a “yes” of all the 27 Member States would no longer be required, and the European Parliament would become a “real” co-legislator, whereas it currently only has to be heard.

The most probable scenario is that certain suitable tax areas will be identified for such a move. This is how Jean-Claude Juncker stated it in his last week’s state of the Union speech, in order to make law-making in the field of taxation more efficient and to give perspective for the future of the Union.

Besides this, Moscovici said he wanted to finalise the CCCTB until the end of his term of office and the taxation of the digital economy by the end of this year.

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Ireland reports the recovery of the amount owed by Apple

On 18 September, the Irish finance minister stated that Ireland had recovered €14,3 billion from Apple following the European Commission’s decision of August 2016. Apple has paid €13,1 billion plus interest of €1,2 billion into an escrow fund. Paschal Donohe TD (Irish finance minister) confirmed that Dublin disagrees with the analysis undertaken by the Commission and this is the reason why the Irish government has appealed against it before the General Court of the EU.

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Luxembourg did not give a selective tax treatment to McDonald’s

On 19 September, the European Commission has published the results of the investigation on the tax ruling granted by Luxembourg to McDonald’s. According to the Commission, the tax ruling does not infringe the EU State aid rules. In particular, the Commission found that the non-taxation of certain McDonald’s profits in Luxembourg did not lead to illegal State aid, as it is in line with the national tax laws and the Luxembourg-United States double tax treaty.

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