The objective of the EU Merger Directive (“MD”) is to remove tax obstacles to cross-border restructuring operations while safeguarding the financial interests of the Member States.[1] In aligning these two aims, the MD employs a carry-over relief mechanism at both company and shareholder level. Through the carry-over mechanism at shareholder level, laid down in Article…

This contribution lays down a general plan for what the EU should do in order to attain a harmonized set of norms regulating the allocation of taxing rights among Member States and in the relation between those States and third countries, which would benefit both Member States and their taxpayers by eliminating several instances of…

Intermediaries (such as: tax advisors, accountants, banks, and lawyers) who design tax structures are now on the Commission’s radar. She recently proposed extensive transparency rules on the basis of which information about cross-border tax structures – bearing certain ‘hallmarks’ – will now have to be reported by the intermediary to the national tax authority (‘reporting…

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament recently finalized the amendments to the existing Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD). This decision was based on the related proposal of the European Commission, submitted in July 2016.EU initiatives in this direction – including adoption…

On 21 June 2017, the European Commission released its Proposal on transparency rules for tax intermediaries. It primarily seeks to address concerns raised by the ECOFIN Council and the European Parliament in trying to investigate and tackle the role of intermediaries in tax evasion and tax avoidance schemes of multinational companies. New rules impose an…

An analysis from a State Aid perspective. This contribution focuses on the profit split methodology in light of current EU Commission’s investigations in the area of tax rulings and transfer pricing[1]. Prior to my points, I shall make some brief preliminary comments to set the scene. According to the EU Commission a tax ruling confers…

A world of tax without disputes is an illusion. It is just as much an illusion as a world without tax. Tax and disputes come together inseparably. Disputes is not something to be ashamed of – I say this in particular to authorities. Nor – and it this meant more for taxpayers –  to be…

In March 2017, the OECD and the IMF published a report on tax uncertainty (Report) confirming that such uncertainty exists and impacts on business and investment. Similar was the outcome of an earlier survey one year ago by the Oxford University Centre for Business Taxation: Measuring Corporation Tax Uncertainty Across Countries. The issue is of…

General On February 9, 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) rendered its decision in the X v Staatssecretaris van Financiën (‘X’). The case concerned the possibility of applying the Schumacker doctrine to a non-resident taxpayer in the situation where he earned almost all his income not in one but in several…

Introduction and EU law applicable On 8 March 2017 the Court of Justice of the European Union (hereafter “CJ”) delivered its decision in the Case C-448/15, Wereldhave, dealing with the interpretation of the “subject to tax” requirement provided for the application of the Parent-Subsidiary Directive (both Directive 90/435/EEC and Directive 2011/96/EU). Under article 1(1) of Directive…

On 16 February 2017 the Public Consultation on the proposed introduction of rules at EU level to disincentivize promotion of aggressive tax planning schemes was closed. The rules under consideration focus on a Mandatory Disclosure Regime (MDR) – referred to also as a Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime. Under such rules, tax advisers…

The Italian Supreme Court issued a landmark case (n. 27113 December 2016) setting out the principles to be taken into account when analyzing whether a company can be deemed the “beneficial owner” for the purpose of being entitled to double tax treaty benefits. In particular, the Italian Supreme Court examined whether a company resident for…

Much changed in the world of taxation the last couple of years. The OECD started and finished the BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit shifting) project. The objective of BEPS was to develop rules that would prohibit multinational enterprises to implement tax avoiding structures or tax evasive set-ups. The EU investigated the tax structures of Apple,…

Italy has embarked upon the challenging task of redesigning its tax system.  The Act[1] of late November 2016 (hereinafter, “Act”) constitutes a best-practices example, or at least for our Country. The above Act illustrates the national fiscal policy for the coming 3-year period, i.e., for 2017 – 2019, specifying the primary objectives and the guidelines…