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Economic and Financial Affairs Council - December 2017

The Council approved & published an EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in taxation matters, aimed promoting good governance worldwide.

Published on: 05 December 2017

The list is intended to contribute to efforts to prevent tax fraud and tax evasion. The Council's work on the list has been conducted in parallel with the OECD.

“This initiative is already proving its value, as numerous countries have worked to meet the deadline for making commitments on the basis of our criteria", said Toomas Tõniste, minister for finance of Estonia, which currently holds the Council presidency. “But it is also important that we closely monitor the implementation of commitments made by our partners around the world.”

“This is not just a one-off process”, Mr Tõniste continued. “We will regularly review and update the list in the years to come. Our aim is to ensure that good tax governance becomes the new norm.”

The Council also agreed on EU input to discussions at international level on 'digital taxation'. Its conclusions will also serve as a reference for further work at EU level, including with a view to Commission legislative proposals expected early in 2018.

Action is necessary because the digital economy is challenging the agreed concepts of international tax rules. Current tax rules were designed for the traditional economy and do not apply to activities that require no physical presence in the country where goods and services are sold.

The Council adopted new rules regarding VAT on electronic commerce. Part of the EU's 'digital single market' strategy, the proposals are aimed at making it easier for businesses operating online to comply with VAT obligations. They will facilitate also the collection of VAT when consumers buy goods and services online, including from third countries.

The Council reviewed work on a package of measures aimed at reducing risk in the banking industry, and on a proposal for a European deposit insurance scheme.

And the Commission reported on work to implement the Council's July 2017 action plan on non-performing loans in the banking sector.

Progress has been achieved on the banking package, and preliminary agreement has been reached on a broad range of issues. A number of political issues remain to be resolved, however, and these are clearly identified in the presidency's progress report.

The Council closed an excessive deficit procedure for the United Kingdom and found that Romania has failed to take effective action to correct a significant budgetary deviation.

It issued a revised recommendation to Romania under the ‘significant deviation procedure’.

Only two of the EU's 28 member states remain subject to excessive deficit procedures, continuing a positive trend since 2011.

 

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