CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.


EC Will Not Challenge Member States On Royalties Tax

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels
05 August 2015

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 Updates by Territory

Latest Treaty Updates

United Arab Emirates - Various

The United Arab Emirates Cabinet on January 7, 2018, approved two double tax agreements concluded with Moldova and Croatia.

Taiwan - United States

Taiwanese Premier Lai Ching-Te has directed the Ministry of Finance to work towards a Taiwan-US tax treaty.

Cyprus - Saudi Arabia

Cyprus and Saudi Arabia signed a DTA on January 3, 2018.

Colombia - Japan

According to preliminary media reports, Colombia and Japan are negotiating a DTA.

Georgia - Moldova

Georgia and Moldova signed a DTA on November 29, 2017.

Luxembourg - Kosovo

Luxembourg and Kosovo signed a DTA on December 8, 2017.

Switzerland - United Kingdom

Switzerland and the United Kingdom signed a DTA Protocol on November 30, 2017.

Liechtenstein - United Arab Emirates

According to an update from the Liechtenstein Government, the new DTA with the United Arab Emirates will become effective from January 1, 2018.

Netherlands - Liechtenstein

According to preliminary media reports, the Netherlands and Liechtenstein held a first round of DTA negotiations over three days ending November 17, 2017.

Saudi Arabia - Bulgaria

Saudi Arabia's Cabinet on November 28, 2017, authorized the signing of a DTA with Bulgaria.

Bahrain - Hong Kong

Bahrain's Cabinet has approved the signing of a new DTA with Hong Kong, the state news agency said November 13, 2017.

Hong Kong - Various

Hong Kong announced on November 24, 2017, that its DTAs with Pakistan and Latvia had entered into force.

Finland - Germany

Finland on November 2, 2017, confirmed that a new DTA signed with Germany will be effective from January 1, 2018.

Cyprus - Iran

The DTA between Cyprus and Iran will become effective from January 1, 2018.

India - New Zealand

India ratified a third Protocol to its DTA with New Zealand on November 2, 2017, publishing a Notice in its Official Gazette.

Gibraltar - United Kingdom

Gibraltar and the United Kingdom are considering launching negotiations towards a DTA, according to recent comments from the UK's Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

Barbados - Italy

Barbados and Italy have exchanged instruments of ratification in respect of a DTA, which will now become effective from January 1, 2018.

Switzerland - Pakistan

Switzerland's Government on October 25, 2017, adopted a dispatch on the DTA concluded with Pakistan, enabling its ratification.

Spain - Portugal

Spain and Portugal signed a DTA on October 18, 2017.

Pakistan - Latvia

Pakistan and Latvia initialed a DTA on October 25, 2017.

Spain - Romania

Spain and Romania signed a DTA on October 18, 2017.

Denmark - Japan

Denmark and Japan signed a DTA Protocol on October 11, 2017.

Bahamas - Finland

The Bahamas and Finland signed a Protocol to amend their TIEA on October 19, 2017.

Netherlands - Zambia

The Dutch lower house of parliament on October 24, 2017, approved the ratification of a DTA signed with Zambia.

Cyprus - Mauritius

Cyprus and Mauritius signed a DTA Protocol on October 23, 2017.

More Treaty Updates