The European Parliament's Economics and Monetary Affairs Committee has backed proposals for the improved resolution of double taxation disputes within the EU.
The Committee approved the measures by 41 votes to one, with one abstention. The opinion of the Parliament will now be passed on to the European Council for consideration.
Last month, the Council agreed to a scheme that aims at improving the mechanisms used for resolving disputes between EU member states that arise from the interpretation of agreements on the elimination of double taxation. The draft directive requires dispute mechanisms to be mandatory and binding, with clear time limits and an obligation to reach results.
The directive would permit taxpayers to initiate a "mutual agreement procedure," under which member states would be required to reach an agreement within two years. If this procedure failed, an arbitration procedure would be launched to resolve the dispute within specified timelines. An advisory panel of between three and five independent arbitrators would be appointed, and would issue a binding opinion on the case.
According to a press release from the European Parliament, the committee backed the stricter deadlines contained in the draft, along with the proposed arbitration procedure and the creation of an advisory panel.
However, Michael Theurer, rapporteur on the Committee's draft report, said that MEPs want "to give national authorities added incentives to act quickly and move to resolution." The Committee therefore called "for shorter deadlines and for no sanctions to be imposed on the taxpayer until a binding decision is reached," he explained.
The European Commission estimates that there are currently around 900 double taxation disputes in the EU, involving more than EUR10.5bn (USD11.8bn).
On July 10, 2018, officials from Kenya and Portugal signed a DTA.
On July 11, 2018, San Marino and the United Arab Emirates signed a DTA.
The UAE's Cabinet on June 13, 2018, approved DTAs signed with Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, and Turkmenistan.
A law to ratify the Azerbaijan-Morocco DTA was tabled before Morocco's Cabinet on June 14, 2018.
Qatar's Government on June 14, 2018, confirmed that it had completed its domestic ratification procedures in respect of a DTA signed with Argentina.
Ukraine's Cabinet on June 6, 2018, approved a law to ratify a DTA Protocol signed with the United Kingdom.
Luxembourg and Vietnam agreed to continue negotiations towards a DTA Protocol at a June 15 meeting.
Sweden's Parliament on June 7, 2018, approved an amendment to the country's DTA with Switzerland to clarify the scope of the term pension fund in the agreement.
Switzerland's lower house of Parliament on May 29, 2018, approved DTAs with Kosovo and Pakistan.
The Moroccan Government has approved for ratification a DTA with the Republic of the Congo, it announced on May 29, 2018.
Argentina has approved a protocol to its DTA with Brazil, the Argentinian Official Gazette reported on May 23, 2018.
Brazil's upper house of Parliament on May 30, 2018, approved a protocol updating the DTA with Norway.
Hong Kong and Finland on May 24, 2018, signed a DTA.
Legislation ratifying a new DTA between Russia and Japan was submitted to the Russian State Assembly (the Duma) for approval on May 22, 2018.
Vietnam and Macau signed a DTA on April 16, according to a statement released by the Vietnamese Ministry of Finance on May 11, 2018.
Talks are continuing on a DTA between Jordan and Switzerland, according to a statement released by Jordan's Foreign Ministry on May 14, 2018.
The Czech Senate approved a law to ratify the DTA with Ghana on May 17, 2018.
The Philippines-Thailand DTA entered into force on March 5, and the Philippines' DTA with Sri Lanka on March 14, the Filipino tax agency announced on May 17, 2018. They will be effective from January 1, 2019.
Jordan's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation met with Luxembourg's Finance Minister to discuss enhanced cooperation between the two countries in a number of areas and agreed to seek to conclude a DTA.
Uzbekistan and Lithuania are to engage in talks towards a DTA, Uzbekistan's state news agency reported May 9, 2018.
Two Georgian committees approved the text of a DTA with Saudi Arabia and forwarded it for ratification, according to a May 17 announcement on the Georgian parliament's website.
Hong Kong gazetted an order to ratify its DTA with Saudi Arabia on May 18, 2018.
Talks are continuing on a DTA between Turkey and Afghanistan, according to a statement released by Turkey's Ministry of the Interior on May 11, 2018.
A new DTA between Finland and Spain will enter into force in January 2019, according to a May 18, 2018, announcement from the Finnish tax authority.
Andorra and Cyprus have signed a DTA, Andorra's Government announced on May 18, 2018.