Europe and the United States aren’t just separated physically by 3,000 miles of ocean. Often, the divides are economic, political, social, and cultural. Put it this way, Paris, France, is a very different place to Paris, Texas.
There is also a widening gap to be bridged between these two economic superpowers on trade matters. Indeed, it is striking how the US’s and the EU’s trade policies are moving in different directions. President Trump’s first act was to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He has also shown his disliking for the existing NATFA text. Meanwhile, the EU is negotiating and signing free trade agreements like they’re going out of fashion.
Given rising concerns about a looming trade war (perhaps it has already begun?), the signing of an FTA between the EU and Japan flew in under the radar somewhat last week, even … Read More »
The main focus of national and international tax policy makers at present is on the highly mobile, hare-like nature of business income, which whizzes from one jurisdiction to another at lightning speed, leaving tortoise-esque tax regimes trailing in its wake. But let’s not forgot that people are highly mobile too, as major advances in transport and communications technology have enabled individuals to live and work in all corners of the world and stay in touch with their work and family base with relative ease.
However, personal income tax codes, specifically rules on residency, have by and large also failed to catch up with the often-peripatetic nature of modern life. Indeed, some of these laws are so ancient, I’m sure Homer would still recognize them. Although the bit in the Odyssey about how Odysseus had to fill in numerous tax returns on … Read More »
Here’s a conundrum: How do you go about BEPSifying the entire global network of double tax avoidance treaties – or the majority of them at least – without testing out the theory that time is infinite? You use an instrument of course! By which I don’t mean you rewrite the world’s tax treaties using the power of song. This is the OECD’s BEPS Multilateral Instrument, which is considerably less entertaining. But more effective. Probably.
Given that the MLI went into effect on July 1, it’s too early to tell how the changes to be brought about will work in practice. But while it’s likely to shorten the global treaty reform process by several years, the process isn’t going to be an easy one by any stretch of the imagination.
Here’s the thing about the MLI: it’s not a one size fits all … Read More »
If I was to say “would those who actually think the EU’s digital taxation plans are a good idea, please stand up” I’d be willing to bet that most of you would be still sitting comfortably. At least those who have an understanding of these issues. Because, as the catalogue of criticism of the European Commission’s digital tax proposals mounts, so too does the list of business associations, economists, and EU member states expressing skepticism and concern about the idea. The way things are going, soon Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron will be only the ones left standing.
One wonders how long the EU will continue to push the digital tax, given that in April reports emerged following an informal meeting of EU finance ministers that France was in a minority of one in fully supporting the proposals. Does this mean even … Read More »