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News from Accountancy Europe – April 2019

By April 24, 2019July 10th, 2021No Comments

EU s environment Ministers have discussed the prospect of EU-level aviation taxes at their most recent Environment Council meeting. The discussion was initiated by Belgium, who wants to see action taken at the European level…


Environment Council discusses EU aviation taxes – 5 March 2019

EU s environment Ministers have discussed the prospect of EU-level aviation taxes at their most recent Environment Council meeting. The discussion was initiated by Belgium, who wants to see action taken at the European level.

Reportedly, at least the Netherlands, France and Luxembourg expressed support towards the Belgians proposal for EU-level measures such as an airline ticket VAT or kerosene taxes. Moreover, during the meeting Belgium requested the Romanian Presidency to organize a formal discussion on aviation taxes at the 26 June Environment Council. However, for now the Presidency merely took note of the request.

The Commission, for its part, stated that several options are on the table. According to Commissioner Vella (environment), one such possibility could be to address aviation taxation as part of the Commission s upcoming Emissions Trading System (ETS) review.

An air ticket tax has in particular been flaunted during technical discussions. However, it appears that several Member States do not consider it a wise idea to tax air travellers.

New VAT rules adopted 

And finally, the Finance Ministers adopted new VAT rules for e-commerce. The rules introduce detailed measures intended to ensure a smooth transition to the new regime that will come into effect in January 2021.

In particular, the rules specify conditions under which electronic interfaces such as online marketplaces, platforms or portals are considered to be facilitating the selling of goods and services between users, as well as the types of information to be kept on sales.

Court of Justice of the EU – Rulings

C-647/17: “Supply of services” in VAT Directive includes accountancy courses – 13 March 2019


C449/17: Motor vehicle driving tuition for categories B and C1 is not school or university education exempt from VAT – 14 March 2019


C-201/18: Adjustment of VAT deductions and Principle of neutrality – 27 March 2019


C275/18: VAT exemption for goods to be exported outside of the EU – 28 March 2019



OECD welcomes the launch of co-operative tax compliance programme in France – 14 March 2019

The OECD welcomes France’s new programme on co-operative compliance. Co-operative compliance is an initiative for promoting better tax compliance developed by the OECD Forum on Tax Administration. It sets out expectations for transparency and good tax governance by the taxpayer in order to give a high degree of reassurance as to the control of tax risks and the absence of aggressive tax planning.

For the taxpayer, co-operative compliance can give greater tax certainty as a result of a relationship with the tax administration based on continuing trust and co-operation.

Accountancy Europe published a paper on cooperative compliance and tax control frameworks last year. The paper can be consulted here. In its paper, Accountancy Europe underlines that appropriate assurance is pivotal in ensuring the success of any cooperative compliance initiatives.

Global tax community agrees new measures to enlist online marketplaces in the collection of VAT/GST in e-commerce – 22 March 2019

Delegates from over 100 jurisdictions, including regional and international organisations, have unanimously endorsed new rules that will ensure the collection of additional VAT/GST revenues and is expected to level the playing field between operators in traditional and online markets.

Meeting in Melbourne, Australia on 20-22 March 2019, around 300 participants attending the Global Forum on VAT welcomed measures proposed in a new report by the OECD on The Role of Digital Platforms in the Collection of VAT/GST on Online Sales. The report includes new measures to make e-commerce marketplaces liable for the VAT/GST on sales made by online traders through their platforms. Other measures include data sharing and enhanced co-operation between tax authorities and online marketplaces.

Other News

New study claims digital companies pay as much taxes as conventional ones – 12 March 2019

Another new study has been published that argues that the Commission s figures for justifying its digital services tax (DST) proposal were flawed.

In its DST justification, the Commission argued that digitalised businesses pay in average less than 10% effective corporate tax rates, compared to over 20% for conventional businesses. However, the new study claims that the Commission’s data is based on hypothetical scenarios, and that in reality digitalised businesses pay in average effective corporate taxes. Some of the larger players pay even a bit above average taxes with 24% tax rates over the past 10 years, the study maintains.

MEP Questions & Answers

Payment of French VAT in the form of SEPA DD B2B is not discriminatory – 6 March 2019

Need to tax “GAFA” (digital companies) – 22 March 2019