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European Commission Launches Public Consultation on Improving Double Taxation Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

On 16 February 2016, the European Commission launched a public consultation on improving double taxation dispute resolution mechanisms. The consultation is in connection with the Commission's June 2015 Action Plan Action Plan for Fair and Efficient Corporate Taxation in the EU.

The main purpose of the consultation is to gather stakeholders' views on:

  • The relevance of removing double taxation for enterprises operating cross border;
  • The impact and effectiveness of current double taxation dispute resolution mechanisms, including bilateral treaties entered into by EU Member States and the EU multilateral Arbitration Convention (Convention 90/436/EEC );
  • How these mechanisms can be improved; and
  • The potential solutions (discussed in the consultation document), including:
    • Improving the efficiency of bilateral and multilateral instruments by encouraging Member States to adopt or revise dispute resolution mechanism in their treaties based on conclusions reached by the EU Arbitration Convention at the level of the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum and Action 14 of the OECD BEPS Project;
    • Improving the efficiency of bilateral and multilateral instruments by encouraging Member States to introduce a specific enforcement mechanism in their tax treaties that would empower the Court of Justice of the European Union to decide on any remaining double-taxation dispute between EU Member States after a limited period of time;
    • Requiring Member States to implement measures that foresee reaching a decision or a mutual agreement on eliminating a double taxation case within a given time limit; and
    • Introducing a new comprehensive EU legal instrument providing for an effective elimination of double taxation at the EU level.

Click the following link for the dispute resolution consultation webpage for additional information and the consultation document. Comments are due by 10 May 2016.

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