Wednesday, April 23, 2014

European Commission Seeks Input on Tax Issues of Cross-Border Citizens

The European Commission is seeking consultation through 3 June 2014 on the problems faced by "cross-border citizens."  They desire input from "[a]ll stakeholders – citizens, EU countries, tax administrations, governmental and business organisations, tax practitioners and academics." Some background:
Individuals exercising cross-border activities within the EU are often confronted with different/ additional tax issues compared to individuals who are active only within a single EU country. The issues that can arise may include complex administrative procedures in one or both countries involved that make tax compliance difficult; language barriers; different interpretations of tax treaties by the EU countries involved; difficulties in accessing relevant tax information; and difficulties in identifying officials responsible in national tax administrations. The problems often stem from the fact that two or more EU countries may have the right to tax the income in a cross-border case. Even if procedures exist in theory to prevent double or multiple taxation, the application of those procedures may be very complicated in practice. 
Some EU countries have adopted measures to address these cross-border tax problems. ... 
Although these measures are good, more may need to be done and other countries may still need to take steps in this direction. 
The Commission services are launching this public consultation with a view to inviting all interested parties to contribute to the exercise of providing information on current problems and identifying good practices applied by some EU tax administrations that go some way towards addressing these problems. This will allow the Commission to come up with solutions such as to recommend that all EU countries adopt certain good practices.
You can find links for various types of submissions at the link above.

My favorite part: "Received contributions will be published on the Internet." Yes! Very frustrating when a public consultation ends in the deafening silence of black box decsion-making based on undisclosed inputs. By making this truly public, the EC is providing a data source for researchers that could lead to more creative thinking in the long run. Lessons about the impact of tax issues on intra-European activity from this consultation might help inform our thinking about the taxation of cross border citizens more generally.

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