Friday

26th May 2017

Commission to launch EU tax discrimination probe

  • Governments that have discriminatory systems will be told to bring tax codes into line with EU law or face fines (Photo: alancleaver)

The European Commission will examine the tax codes of all 28 EU countries in a bid to stamp out tax discrimination against foreign nationals from other EU countries.

In a statement released on Monday (20 January), the EU executive said that it would spend the next 12 months assessing whether national tax regimes were creating disadvantages for mobile EU citizens.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The Commission wants to make sure that tax regimes offer equal treatment for foreign EU workers

The EU executive is anxious that Europeans living and working in another member state should not face double taxation or be excluded from tax perks enjoyed by domestic residents.

The commission investigations will focus on tax rules on income, as well as levies on capital gains and other investments, and pension provisions. Governments found to have discriminatory tax systems will be told to bring their tax codes into line with EU law or face infringement proceedings.

Speaking with journalists on Monday (20 January), commission spokeswoman Emer Traynor said that complicated tax regimes were "one of the key deterrents to mobility in the EU" for citizens wanting to work in other countries.

EU law requires equal tax treatment for citizens within the single market.

However, the investigations come as a number of EU countries are putting pressure on the commission to make it harder for foreign workers to claim domestic welfare benefits.

According to the EU's statistical agency Eurostat, 13.6 million EU citizens lived in a country that was not their state of origin in 2012.

Of this, an estimated 6.5 million people work in a different EU country to the one whose citizenship they hold.

The EU executive estimates that having free movement for the 12 EU countries to join the bloc between 2004 and 2009 was worth an extra 1 percent of GDP - equivalent to around €50 billion - for the other EU-15.

Its estimates do not include Croatia, which joined last year.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Ukip's last electoral stand

Nigel Farage's anti-EU party is unlikely to win any seats at the 8 June elections. After the loss of his charismatic leadership, the party is just a rag-tag of third raters.

Investigation

Fight Club: Russische Spione suchen EU-Rekruten

Sicherheitsexperten warnen, dass russische Geheimdienste Kampfsportvereine nutzen, um potenzielle Unruhestifter in Deutschland und anderen EU-Ländern zu rekrutieren.

EUobserved

Scramble for UK agencies paves way for Trumpian claims

The Spanish health minister this week bragged that Barcelona was “the best city”, had “the best building”, and “the best infrastructure” to host the EU's medicines agency post-Brexit.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Ukip's last electoral stand

Nigel Farage's anti-EU party is unlikely to win any seats at the 8 June elections. After the loss of his charismatic leadership, the party is just a rag-tag of third raters.

EUobserved

Scramble for UK agencies paves way for Trumpian claims

The Spanish health minister this week bragged that Barcelona was “the best city”, had “the best building”, and “the best infrastructure” to host the EU's medicines agency post-Brexit.

News in Brief

  1. Malloch will not be US ambassador to the EU
  2. 'Significant' drop in EU migration to UK
  3. Bomb injures former Greek PM
  4. British PM to speak out on US terrorism leaks
  5. Tusk calls for 'values, not just interests' after Trump meeting
  6. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  7. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  8. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms