The EU Commission proposal to make it mandatory for EU member states to exchange information on their tax rulings received only a lukewarm welcome in Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.
However, the report by Markus Ferber (EPP, DE), voicing dismay at the directive’s limited scope and late entry into force, has already been overtaken by last week's ECOFIN Council deal, which watered down the Commission proposal even further. [...]
What MEPs want, compared to what the Council agreed
MEPs would prefer the directive to apply to all tax rulings, not just "cross border rulings and advance pricing arrangements", given that purely national transactions can also have cross-border effects. The Council made the directive’s scope "cross-border only".
Commission not in the loop
The Council also ensured that the European Commission is explicitly not allowed to do anything with the information - to which the Commission only has very limited access - other than overseeing that it conforms to the directive, and that the directive is properly applied.
No retroactive effect
The Commission says that the mandatory exchange mechanism should apply to tax rulings issued in the ten years before it enters into force, whereas MEPs say it should apply to all rulings that are still valid on the day the directive enters into force. The Council agreed that the directive would apply only to rulings, amendments or renewals of rulings after 31 December 2016.
MEPS want the automatic exchange of information to start as soon as possible, whereas the Commission proposes that it should start on 1 January 2016. The Council agreed on 1 January 2017.
MEPs insist that the information should be communicated "promptly after the ruling or price arrangement is issued" rather than "within one month following the end of the quarter during which the ruling was issued" as the Commission proposes. The Council deal says that the information should be provided "within three months following the end of the half of the calendar year during which the ruling was issued". This means that if a ruling is issued in January, the mandatory exchange of information can take place until 30 September.
Full press release
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