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


MEPs Back New Double Tax Dispute Resolution Rules

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels
27 June 2017

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).


Treaty Updates by Territory

Latest Treaty Updates

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.

Armenia - Iran

According to preliminary media reports, Armenia and Iran are to enter into negotiations to revise their DTA.

United Kingdom - Ukraine

The United Kingdom and Ukraine signed a DTA Protocol on October 9, 2017.

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.

Russia - Japan

Russia and Japan signed a DTA on September 7, 2017.

Isle of Man - Turkey

A new TIEA between the Isle of Man and Turkey entered into force on October 7, 2017.

United Kingdom - Belarus

The United Kingdom and Belarus signed a DTA on September 26, 2017.

More Treaty Updates