On 29 January, the European Commission published its work programme for 2020, indicating the new policy proposals and Communications to be expected in 2020. For tax, two items to note…
European Commission publishes Work Plan 2020
On 29 January, the European Commission published its work programme for 2020, indicating the new policy proposals and Communications to be expected in 2020. For tax, two items to note:
- non-legislative communication on business taxation for the 21st century, focusing on the tax aspects of the Single Market, in Q1 2020
- a legislative proposal and action plan on the fight against tax evasion and to make taxation “simple and easy”, also in Q1 2020
Reportedly, both are to be expected on 25 March but this is yet to be confirmed.
The work programme also specifies that definitive VAT, C(C)CTB and public CBCR continue to be the Commission’s priorities for the year.
Commission plans to evaluate VAT rules for travel agents
The European Commission intends to evaluate the effectiveness of the current special VAT rules for travel agents; including the so-called margin scheme. A public consultation will be launched on the topic in March. Should the evaluation process demonstrate the need for reform, the Commission may propose amendments to existing rules.
EU could use carbon border tax against Brexit Britain, warns MEP
The Chair of the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee, Pascal Canfin (RE/France) has suggested that the EU could use the planned carbon border tax (CBT) against the UK after Brexit. He argues that deploying the CBT against the UK might be necessary if the country’s environmental standards do not match those of the EU’s, thus risking leaving European businesses at an unfair disadvantage.
The European Commission is currently conducting a feasibility study on the CBT, the results and conclusions of which should not be expected before end-2020 at earliest.
MEP Questions & Answers
Commission confirms a donation given free of charge to a charitable organisation is outside the scope of VAT
US threatens retaliation against EU over carbon tax
As things are starting to calm down between France and the US in their clash over the French digital tax, a new trade war and tax front may be opening.
The Trump administration has warned that a prospective EU carbon border tax (CBT) could be met by trade sanctions by the US. CBT’s purpose is to protect European businesses from competition from third countries whose environmental standards do not meet the EU’s.
The European Commission is expected to publish further details on its thinking and approach to CBT towards the end of this year.
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