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Cross-border distribution of investment funds

29-07-2019

Investment funds are products created to pool investors' capital and to invest it in a collective portfolio of securities. The characteristics of a range of different types of investment funds have been established in Union law, and most funds on the market are categorised as one of these types. The market in the EU is smaller than in the United States, despite there being far more funds in the EU. This is why the European Commission put forward two legislative proposals: one for a regulation aligning ...

Investment funds are products created to pool investors' capital and to invest it in a collective portfolio of securities. The characteristics of a range of different types of investment funds have been established in Union law, and most funds on the market are categorised as one of these types. The market in the EU is smaller than in the United States, despite there being far more funds in the EU. This is why the European Commission put forward two legislative proposals: one for a regulation aligning national requirements for marketing funds and regulatory fees and harmonising the process and requirements for the verification of marketing material by national competent authorities, and the other for a directive harmonising the conditions under which investment funds may exit a national market and allowing European asset managers to engage in pre-marketing activities. Parliament and Council approved the texts agreed in trilogue on 16 April and 14 June 2019 respectively. The final acts were published on 12 July 2019. The directive’s provisions shall apply from 2 August 2021, and the regulation’s from August 2019, with some exceptions. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Detailed technical measures for the definitive VAT system for cross-border goods trade

20-06-2019

The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967, and reformed in 1993, to adapt it to the entry into force of the European Union (EU) internal market. The existing rules governing intra Community trade were therefore intended to be transitory. While VAT has become an important source of revenue for both national governments and the EU budget, the current system is ill-adapted to the challenges of a modern economy. A substantial review was initiated as from 2016, to update the ...

The common European value added tax (VAT) system was set up in 1967, and reformed in 1993, to adapt it to the entry into force of the European Union (EU) internal market. The existing rules governing intra Community trade were therefore intended to be transitory. While VAT has become an important source of revenue for both national governments and the EU budget, the current system is ill-adapted to the challenges of a modern economy. A substantial review was initiated as from 2016, to update the EU VAT system and make it less vulnerable to fraud, as described in the April 2016 VAT action plan. The proposal, adopted on 25 May 2018, would amend the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC), to introduce detailed technical measures for the definitive VAT system for intra-EU business to business (B2B) trade in goods. The present proposal follows and complements the adoption of Council Directive (EU) 2018/1910 on 4 December 2018. The Parliament adopted its position on the proposal on 12 February 2019; the Council has yet to finalise its position. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri, and subsequently updated by Laura Puccio. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Fairness and transparency for business users of online services

12-04-2019

The European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the proposed regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services in February 2019. Providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon and eBay) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) will be required to implement a set of measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses (e.g. online retailers, hotels and restaurants ...

The European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the proposed regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services in February 2019. Providers of online intermediation services (e.g. Amazon and eBay) and online search engines (e.g. Google search) will be required to implement a set of measures to ensure transparency and fairness in the contractual relations they have with online businesses (e.g. online retailers, hotels and restaurants businesses, app stores), which use such online platforms to sell and provide their services to customers in the EU. The regulation, which, inter alia, harmonises transparency rules applicable to contractual terms and conditions, ranking of goods and services and access to data, is considered to be the first regulatory attempt in the world to establish a fair, trusted and innovation-driven ecosystem in the online platform economy. Now that Member States' and Parliament's negotiators have endorsed the compromise text, the political agreement must be voted in plenary by the European Parliament and formally adopted by the Council to complete the legislative procedure.

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive

25-01-2019

Following political agreement with the Council, a vote in plenary on 2 October 2018 saw Parliament adopt the updated EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, based on the proposal presented by the Commission on 25 May 2016. The overarching goal of the proposal was to bring about a balance between competitiveness and consumer protection. It therefore aimed to introduce flexibility when restrictions only applicable to TV are no longer justified, promote European films, protect minors and tackle hate ...

Following political agreement with the Council, a vote in plenary on 2 October 2018 saw Parliament adopt the updated EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, based on the proposal presented by the Commission on 25 May 2016. The overarching goal of the proposal was to bring about a balance between competitiveness and consumer protection. It therefore aimed to introduce flexibility when restrictions only applicable to TV are no longer justified, promote European films, protect minors and tackle hate speech more efficiently. The proposal also reflected a new approach to online platforms. Following adoption of the revised directive, EU Member States now have to bring the new rules into national law by 19 September 2020. Sixth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

The new European electronic communications code

16-01-2019

European telecom rules were last updated in 2009. To make them fit for the digital era the Commission proposed a new Electronic Communications Code in September 2016. The provisional agreement reached in June 2018 was adopted by the Parliament and then by the Council in November 2018. Member States have until 21 December 2020 to transpose the new directive into national legislation. The new rules include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the EU as well ...

European telecom rules were last updated in 2009. To make them fit for the digital era the Commission proposed a new Electronic Communications Code in September 2016. The provisional agreement reached in June 2018 was adopted by the Parliament and then by the Council in November 2018. Member States have until 21 December 2020 to transpose the new directive into national legislation. The new rules include measures to stimulate investment in and take-up of very high capacity networks in the EU as well as new spectrum rules for mobile connectivity and 5G. The Code also ensures that all citizens have access to affordable communication, including the internet. It increases consumer protection and security for users and facilitates regulatory intervention. Furthermore, it introduces a 'reverse 112 system' which would alert citizens by text message in case of imminent serious emergencies or disasters (from June 2022). During negotiations the Parliament secured for citizens cheaper caps for intra-EU calls and SMS from 15 May 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Introducing the definitive VAT system for B2B cross-border trade

15-01-2019

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumer. It is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is still ‘transitional’. This framework presents problems such as vulnerability to fraud, compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. It is under review along the lines ...

Value added tax (VAT) is a consumption tax borne by the final consumer. It is an important source of revenue for national governments and the European Union (EU) budget. However, the existing rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is still ‘transitional’. This framework presents problems such as vulnerability to fraud, compliance costs for businesses and also a heavy administrative burden for national authorities. It is under review along the lines of the April 2016 VAT Action Plan. The reform of the VAT framework towards a definitive VAT system for intra-Community business-to-business (B2B) transactions is planned in several consecutive steps. The first step focuses on B2B transactions in goods, while the second one in services. Directive 2018/1910, adopted on 4 December 2018, was put forward by the Commission in October 2017 as part of the ‘definitive VAT system package'. The directive amends the VAT Directive (Directive 2006/112/EC) so as to introduce the basic features of the definite VAT system for business-to-business (B2B) goods transactions. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by Ana Claudia Alfieri. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Reduced VAT rate for e-publications

19-12-2018

The fact that print and digital publications have been subject to separate value added tax (VAT) rates essentially means that products that are considered to be comparable and substitutable have been treated differently to one another. This situation resulted from rules which, on the one hand, allowed Member States to apply reduced rates to printed publications, but on the other excluded this possibility for digital publications. In addition, the evolution in the VAT framework means that VAT on digital ...

The fact that print and digital publications have been subject to separate value added tax (VAT) rates essentially means that products that are considered to be comparable and substitutable have been treated differently to one another. This situation resulted from rules which, on the one hand, allowed Member States to apply reduced rates to printed publications, but on the other excluded this possibility for digital publications. In addition, the evolution in the VAT framework means that VAT on digital services should be levied in the Member State where the consumer is based (thus protecting the single market from application of different rates within a Member State because of the different location of providers). The question of broadening the possibility to apply reduced rates to all publications, be they print or digital, was addressed as part of the VAT digital single market package. The amendment to the VAT directive was adopted by the Council on 6 November 2018, after the European Parliament had delivered its opinion on 1 June 2017. The new rules allow Member States to apply the reduced rate to e-publications, as from 4 December 2018.

Corporate taxation of a significant digital presence

07-12-2018

Despite achieving unprecedented growth and profit rates, the digital economy seems to be relatively undertaxed when compared to more traditional 'bricks and mortar' companies. The current rules are based on the physical presence of taxpayers and assets, and there is a general understanding that they are not suited to taxing a digital economy characterised by reliance on intangible assets and ubiquitous services whose location is often hard to determine. International bodies are currently working ...

Despite achieving unprecedented growth and profit rates, the digital economy seems to be relatively undertaxed when compared to more traditional 'bricks and mortar' companies. The current rules are based on the physical presence of taxpayers and assets, and there is a general understanding that they are not suited to taxing a digital economy characterised by reliance on intangible assets and ubiquitous services whose location is often hard to determine. International bodies are currently working on how to adapt tax rules to the digital reality. The European Commission adopted a proposal in March 2018. It would allow taxation on the basis of digital rather than physical presence linked with the EU, for digital activities generating turnover of over €7 million, and with more than 100 000 users or 3 000 business-to-business contracts annually. The proposal has met with mixed reactions from stakeholders. Although there is growing recognition that digital companies should pay similar tax rates to traditional companies, some consider the initiative to be premature given the ongoing search for a compromise at the level of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which is thought of as the permanent solution. The report by Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) proposes to widen the scope and reach of the tax, and increase clarity for tax authorities and companies. The plenary vote on the report is expected during the December session. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Interim digital services tax on revenues from certain digital services

07-12-2018

According to the European Commission the digital economy is relatively under-taxed when compared with traditional businesses. Certain inherent characteristics such as reliance on cross-border provision of services without physical presence, easy transfers of intangible assets, and novel ways to create value make it particularly easy for enterprises to limit their tax liabilities. In order to provide a solution to this problem, in March 2018 the Commission adopted the 'fair taxation of the digital ...

According to the European Commission the digital economy is relatively under-taxed when compared with traditional businesses. Certain inherent characteristics such as reliance on cross-border provision of services without physical presence, easy transfers of intangible assets, and novel ways to create value make it particularly easy for enterprises to limit their tax liabilities. In order to provide a solution to this problem, in March 2018 the Commission adopted the 'fair taxation of the digital economy' package, comprised of two proposals. One concerns a permanent reform of corporate tax regime while the second is a proposal for a directive on the common system of a digital services tax on revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services, which would apply as an interim measure until the permanent reform has been implemented. The tax is to cover businesses above two thresholds: total annual worldwide revenues exceeding €750 million and annual revenues in the EU exceeding €50 million. The proposed single rate is at 3 %, levied on gross revenues resulting from the provision of certain digital services where user value creation is essential. Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) adopted a report proposing to widen the scope and reach of the tax. The plenary vote is expected during the December session. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Fair taxation of the digital economy

05-12-2018

In order to make tax rules fit for the digital economy, the European Commission proposed two Council directives in March 2018: a short-term solution, to be delivered by an interim digital services tax on revenues from certain digital services, and a permanent reform of the corporate tax rules, based on the concept of 'significant digital presence'. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposals during its December plenary session.

In order to make tax rules fit for the digital economy, the European Commission proposed two Council directives in March 2018: a short-term solution, to be delivered by an interim digital services tax on revenues from certain digital services, and a permanent reform of the corporate tax rules, based on the concept of 'significant digital presence'. The European Parliament is expected to vote on the proposals during its December plenary session.

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