LegalToday

Por y para abogados

Portal jurídico de Thomson Reuters, por y para abogados

01/07/2020. 17:10:24

LegalToday

Por y para abogados

Qualified Majority Vote (QMV) on tax issues and Energy Taxation: next “Hot topic” on EU level

Tax Manager Benelux & EU Tax Policy en Repsol.

Renovable

Might be difficult to believe, but when choosing topic to start my collaboration with this blog that I have been Reading for years (Thanks Miguel&Co for the opportunity!) I had clear the topic.

Yet digesting the outcome of EU elections results last weekend (how EU Commission will be settled is the biggest question), one thing is clear: there are two highly related "hot potatos" on the table that needed to be analyzed:

    i) Swift for tax topic from current decision-making system (unanimity) into a  Qualified Majority Vote QMV);

    ii) Modification of current Directive on Energy Taxation, more time pressed the EU in order to effectively tacking the Global Warming[1].

All of you that would know – even with not big detail – how EU decision making on tax matters works would recall that many tax developments are first blocked and then disregarded due to such unanimity need. Common (whether or not consolidated one) Tax Base for CIT or taxation on Digital Economy are two perfect examples. And many times is precisely is because reaching such unanimity is really complex and always any country (even the smallest) can understand that their particular interests are not aligned and thus to block the topic..

EU Commission is aware and that is that is why it was relaunched last January a project that allows tax matters to be approved following QMV system (they argue that is system used for all other matters).

Not willing to be excessively detailed on the proposal (as commented on link, 4 progressive phases, idea is that totally operative in 2025), now topic goes back on Energy Taxation: among first practical QMV approaches would be to use it to support "higher desirable aims"; and what is higher that actions to tackle Global Warming?

Two ideas to highlight:

    i) Current Energy Tax Directive is in force since 2003 and it´s been unable to modify it (last try in 2011). Trends coming from US ("Carbon Tax") might made even more urgent/relevant to accelerate the process.

    ii) In general terms, first approach would be to think that swifting into a QMV system is not feasible, as it requires both 28 (27?) EU parliaments and 28 Governments to approve Swift (first requirement at Parliament level made EU Constitution something long time ago forgotten…) and many news says such transition is directly not feasible.

And now is when things become really tricky: in a recent and really interesting article published some weeks ago by Pedro Gonzalez-Gaggero (sorry, just found in Spanish), author stated something that I personally discovered some months ago. That is, EU Tax Treaties contain some "back doors" that would make slightly easier the Swift into QMV system (still a complex matter) in the specific matter of QMV procedure related to environment-related topics. Technically speaking applying specific art. 192. TFEU on environment matters vs. general rules 48.7 TFEU. It is said that Juncker colloquially defines such possibility ("environment gateway") as "a brilliant hidden treasure on EU Treaties".

To sum up, those matters will be for sure on the spotlight and outcome might be not as clear as first thoughts might suggest. Seems that tax guys will continue enjoying for long exciting times on international tax!

*****

Opinions showed on this or future articles are exclusively attributable to author and in no case cannot be linked to Repsol or any other organization/Company/ forum the author currently belongs or might belong in the future.



[1] Not a big fan of term "Climate Change", as always Earth has been on such never-ending change. Let´s just think on Neanderthals and ice age o que el how Sahara was 10.000 years ago.

 

Blog

Blog Fiscalidad Internacional

Te recomiendo

Actualmente, los estados son cada vez menos soberanos para implementar medidas fiscales de calado internacional. Los sistemas fiscales son muy similares y sus novedades prácticamente uniformes. Principalmente porque necesitan contar con un consenso supranacional, la Unión Europea en el caso de España, o es necesaria una unidad de actuación y coordinación de intereses comunes como es la OCDE. Por lo tanto, todo lo que acontece fuera de nuestras fronteras, en mayor o menor medida, acabará influenciando la normativa española y su interpretación.

Por lo tanto, este blog nace con la idea de tratar desde un punto de vista práctico, crítico y ameno todas aquellas novedades fiscales que tienen lugar en el ámbito internacional que afecten o puedan acabar afectando a nuestro sistema fiscal español, y por tanto, a empresas españolas con presencia internacional o empresas extranjeras con presencia en España. Igualmente, el propósito de este blog es comentar y compartir con todos los lectores aquellos trabajos, estudios o artículos preparados por universidades y periódicos extranjeros especializados en fiscalidad internacional que aporten un punto de vista adicional y diferente a las fuentes tradicionales.