Tuesday

28th Feb 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.

Maltese PM hails pope, calls for multispeed EU

Malta's prime minister Joseph Muscat said that Pope Francis has "the skills and vision" to inspire the EU and that some EU countries should integrate more to be able to act.

Agenda

EU tackles CO2 threat This WEEK

EU states will haggle over the reform of a carbon trade system, while MEPs vote on overhauling EU car emissions oversight.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsFreedom of Association and Expression Under Threat in Kazakhstan, Reports CIVICUS Monitor
  2. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Brussels on March 6th
  3. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  5. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  6. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  7. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  8. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  9. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  10. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  11. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  12. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps