THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION will “blacklist” countries known to be tax havens after it brought in a series of measures to combat tax evasion and avoidance.
Taxation and anti-fraud minister Algirdas Semeta said tax avoidance and tax evasion cost the EU economy around €1trn (£810bn) a year.
“Arguing they [tax avoidance schemes] are legal doesn’t make them right. They go against the very nature of corporate social responsibility,” he concluded.
Other proposals from the EC include a taxpayers’ code, an EU tax identification number, a review of the anti-abuse provisions in relevant areas of EU legislation, and common guidelines to trace money flows.
Corporate tax partner at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner Gary Richards said: “It is interesting that days before the UK draft legislation on a general anti-abuse rule is published, the EU issues a recommendation that member states adopt a common GAAR, so keeping up the pressure on governments to harmonise their tax system.
“However, the EC’s intentions may well be undermined by governments’ wariness about compromising their tax sovereignty or losing their ability to fine-tune their own tax regimes and influence tax competitiveness.”
HMRC intends to extend the date for withdrawal of transitional relief on investment growth from 30 November 2016 to 31 March 2017
The current business rates system is over-complex and reform is needed, but reforms should focus first of all on simplifying the appeals process, particularly for businesses which are subject to business rates exemption
The CIoT has called on the government to rethink its approach to ensuring online sellers pay the correct amount of VAT.
Jane Ellison to serve as 'tax minister' following ministerial responsibilities for public health. David Gauke become chief secretary to the Treasury