Fabian Demicoli

The fight for removal of cross border tax obstacles to citizens

Vincent Farrugia as Rapporteur on EESC's opinion on the Commission Communication on Removing cross-border tax obstacles for EU citizens, has obtained the endorsement of the special EESC study-group for recommending the commission to set the EC council to set-up a Cross-Border Tax Observatory exercise under the auspices of the European Commission to gain, on an on-going basis, a detailed and practical understanding of existing tax barriers and their evolution and whose functions would include:


the investigation of tax obstacles as reported by EU citizens;

the undertaking of research to uncover other obstacles;

the investigation of the effectiveness of on-going efforts to remove obstacles;

the estimation of the effects on EU citizens of the matters under the purview of the Observatory;

regular reviews of changes in tax policies and administrative requirements within EU Member States so as to assess the extent and manner in which tax obstacles may be evolving, and to specifically highlight and report on instances where such obstacles would be increasing;

the study of the introduction of tax equalisation mechanisms, which are through this Opinion being proposed as effective instruments whereby  workers who change their place of work between countries within the EU on a frequent basis would be liable to pay tax always under the same, single jurisdiction;

to study the extent to which harmonisation is effective in the context of specific tax regimes such as VAT and the way in which its implementation or lack thereof is impinging on tax distortions within the Single Market;

the establishment of ad hoc working groups to gather information and propose solutions in the context of the above issues;

the issuing of reports on  regular and ad hoc bases to detail the results of the work of the Observatory and to provide recommendations to eliminate tax obstacles to cross-border transactions.

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