Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has said that European Commission law was not breached in the case of a French professional association taxing royalty payments earned by UK musicians in France.
In a written question to the European Commission, Julie Girling, a UK Member of the European Parliament (MEP), alleged that the action of the Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique (Sacem) violated the double tax agreement (DTA) between the UK and France. Girling asked whether the Commission was aware of the action and what the Commission was doing "to prevent the double taxation of royalties in cross-border situations within the EU."
Answering on behalf of the Commission, Moscovici pointed out that there is no European Union (EU) legislation dealing with the taxation of royalties of individuals. He said that EU member states have broad freedom to design their tax systems and to share taxing rights with other member states if they so choose. While member states must respect their obligations under EU treaties, EU law does not oblige them to eliminate double taxation.
"Member states retain the power to decide whether to conclude double taxation treaties or not and in the event they do, they can decide how to allocate taxing rights under their treaties and subsequently how to apply these treaties," Moscovici explained.
He confirmed that preliminary examination of the information provided by Girling did not lead to the conclusion that Commission law had been breached.
Moscovici did however state that the Commission "is conscious that double taxation is a cross-border tax obstacle which hinders the effective functioning of the internal market." It has set up an expert group to examine problems in this area and launched an initiative to eliminate tax discrimination on mobile EU citizens.
Hungary and Kyrgystan have begun DTA negotiations, the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced on February 28, 2018.
Morocco and Cape Verde will begin DTA negotiations in March 2018, Morocco's Tax Agency announced.
The DTA signed between Mexico and Saudi Arabia entered into force on March 1, 2018, following the publication in Mexico's official Gazette of a law ratifying the agreement on February 26, 2018.
Bangladesh and Morocco signed a DTA on March 1, 2018.
Meeting over two days ending February 28, 2018, representatives from Pakistan and the Philippines agreed to renegotiate their DTA.
The UK and Mauritius signed a DTA on February 28, 2018.
Singapore signed a DTA with Tunisia on February 27, 2018.
Bahrain's King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, has approved a law ratifying the DTA Protocol signed with the Philippines, state media reported on February 20, 2018.
The Luxembourg Government on February 23, 2018, reported it is pushing for the negotiation of an amended DTA with Oman.
According to a monthly update from the Mexican Government, Mexico's DTA with Jamaica entered into force on February 24, 2018.
According to preliminary media reports, Switzerland's upper house of parliament of February 26, 2018, approved laws to ratify the DTAs signed with Kosovo and Pakistan and a Protocol with Latvia.
The Luxembourg Government announced that it is engaged in DTA negotiations with 15 countries, in a January 29, 2018, update, including newly DTA negotiations with the UK.
Ireland and Ghana signed a DTA on February 7, 2018.
According to a statement from the President's office, Iran's Cabinet on February 18, 2018, approved the signing of DTAs with Sweden, Lithuania, and Japan.
On February 19, 2018, the Philippines Senate adopted three resolutions ratifying agreements for the avoidance of double taxation with Mexico, Thailand, and Sri Lanka.
Japan and Spain have agreed a DTA in principle, to replace their existing pact, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced February 21, 2018.
The Armenian Ministry of Finance said February 22, 2018, that a DTA had been initialed after four days of negotiations with Iraq.
India's Ministry of Finance on February 22, 2018, revealed that an updated DTA between India and Kenya had been published in the Official Gazette, to replace the agreement in place between the two countries since 1985.
South Africa's DTA Protocol with Brazil entered into force on February 10, 2018.
Moldova's Cabinet on January 31, 2018, approved a law to ratify the DTA signed with Georgia in November 2017.
According to preliminary media reports, Kazakhstan's Senate on February 15, 2018, approved a law to ratify a Protocol to the DTA with Azerbaijan.
Poland published an order in its Official Gazette on February 8, 2018, to bring the DTA signed with Ethiopia in 2015 into force. The agreement entered into force on February 14, 2018.
Paraguay's Government on February 11, 2018, announced the signing of a DTA with Qatar.
Guernsey's TIEA with Portugal will enter into force March 15, 2018, according to a February 20, 2018, update from the Guernsey Government.
The Botswana Government has announced that the country will sign a DTA Protocol with Zimbabwe by the end of the year.