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.
Treaty Update: Spain - Finland
According to preliminary media reports, Spain's Cabinet on October 6, 2017, approved the signing of a DTA and accompanying Protocol with Finland.
Treaty Update: Russia - Japan
Russia and Japan signed a DTA on September 7, 2017.
Treaty Update: Isle of Man - Turkey
A new TIEA between the Isle of Man and Turkey entered into force on October 7, 2017.
Treaty Update: United Kingdom - Belarus
The United Kingdom and Belarus signed a DTA on September 26, 2017.
Treaty Update: Morocco - Togo
According to preliminary reports, Morocco intends to launch DTA negotiations with Togo.
Treaty Update: Morocco - Bahrain
Morocco on September 21, 2017, published a notice in its Official Gazette to ratify and bring into effect the DTA Protocol signed with Bahrain in April 2016.
Treaty Update: Luxembourg - Sri Lanka
At a meeting on September 27, 2017, Luxembourg and Sri Lanka committed to expediting the negotiation of a Protocol to their double tax agreement.
Treaty Update: Burkina Faso - Turkey
Burkina Faso and Turkey initialed a DTA at the conclusion of three-day negotiations on September 22, 2017.
Treaty Update: Kuwait - Turkey
Kuwait and Turkey signed a DTA Protocol on September 15, 2017.
Treaty Update: South Africa - Cameroon
An order to bring into force South Africa's DTA with Cameroon was published in the nation's Official Gazette on September 1, 2017.
Treaty Update: Paraguay - Uruguay
Paraguay and Uruguay signed a DTA on September 8, 2017.
Treaty Update: Spain - Paraguay
According to preliminary media reports, Spain and Paraguay are to relaunch DTA negotiations.
Treaty Update: Liechtenstein - Monaco
Liechtenstein's Government has approved a double taxation agreement with Monaco, according to an August 23 announcement.
Treaty Update: South Africa - Cameroon
South Africa on September 1 confirmed that a new DTA with Cameroon entered into force on July 13, 2017.
Treaty Update: Thailand - Cambodia
Thailand and Cambodia signed a DTA on September 7, 2017.
Treaty Update: Brazil - Paraguay
Brazil and Paraguay agreed on the need to negotiate a DTA at a high-level meeting on August 21, 2017.
Treaty Update: Estonia - Japan
According to preliminary media reports, Estonia on August 24, 2017, approved the signing of a DTA with Japan.
Treaty Update: Switzerland - Zambia
Switzerland and Zambia signed a DTA on August 29, 2017.
Treaty Update: Hong Kong - Saudi Arabia
Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia signed a DTA on August 24, 2017.
Treaty Update: New Zealand - China
New Zealand and China held a second round of DTA negotiations on August 14.
Treaty Update: New Zealand - India
New Zealand is taking the necessary steps to bring its new DTA Protocol with India into effect, the Government said.
Treaty Update: Croatia - United Arab Emirates
Croatia and the United Arab Emirates signed a DTA on July 13, 2017.
Treaty Update: Canada - Grenada
Canada and Grenada signed a TIEA on July 14, 2017.
Treaty Update: United Arab Emirates - Cameroon
The United Arab Emirates and Cameroon signed a DTA on July 16, 2017.
Treaty Update: Grenada - Canada
Grenada announced the signing of a TIEA with Canada on July 17, 2017.