BRUSSELS 6 AUGUST 2018
Apple Makes Part Payment of EU State Aid Recovery Into Escrow
Apple has reported its best June quarterly results ever, in the week when it became the first public company in the world to reach the $1 trillion market valuation. In its third quarter report published on 31 July, Apple has also confirmed that the company had funded into escrow the amount of €4.5 billion by 30 June and had doubled that amount since.
The Irish Department of Finance announced earlier this year that various investment management groups and the asset management division of Goldman Sachs have been appointed to manage the escrow account as per EU Commission’s decision. The establishment of an escrow fund in compliance with all relevant Irish and European Union law has been a unique administrative operation, over which the Commission had taken the Irish government to Court for failure to establish this complex fund according to Commission’s timescale. The European Commission had initially instructed the Irish government that it had until January 2017 to recover the assessed back taxes in the Apple case.
The debate about EU Commission’s State aid approach to advance tax rulings and transfer-pricing continues. The final arbiter in the State aid cases is the European Court of Justice, whose judgments on appeal are expected in due course.
Code of Conduct Group: Austrian Presidency Priorities & Preferential Regimes Update
The EU Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation) have published an updated overview of all preferential tax regimes examined since its creation in 1998. The Code of Conduct resolution was adopted in December 1997 by the Council with a commitment by Member states’ governments to eradicate harmful tax competition.
Further, the Code of Conduct Group have published its work programme and priorities under the Austrian Council presidency, which include transparency of the group, monitoring of standstill and rollback obligations of Member states, anti-abuse and defensive measures, monitoring the implementation of agreed guidance and revision of the December 1997 mandate.
New Signatories to OECD’s MLI
On 27 July, Antigua and Barbuda became the 124th and 135th jurisdictions to sign the OECD’s BEPS multilateral tax treaty instrument (“MLI”), which entered into force on 1 July 2018 following on from 5 countries having ratified the instrument, namely Austria, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Poland and Slovenia. Serbia, Sweden, New Zealand and the United Kingdom have now also ratified the instrument.
The multilateral tax treaty allows jurisdictions to update their existing double tax treaties and transpose measures agreed in the BEPS project without further need for bilateral negotiations, and aims to increase transparency and further efforts to reduce cross-border tax evasion.
The United Kingdom, Sweden, Serbia and New Zealand all recently deposited their instruments of ratification with the OECD. Further ratifications are expected in the coming months. There are now 83 jurisdictions that are signatories to the treaty.
OECD Blockchain Policy Forum
The OECD will be hosting a Blockchain Policy Forum from 4 – 5 September 2018 in Paris concerning the potential of Blockchain to increase transparency and traceability within markets and individual transactions, subject to policy and regulatory frameworks which foster the use of Blockchain for these purposes.
Topics to be discussed at the conference include implications of Blockchain for privacy and cybersecurity, green growth and sustainability, the global economy, and enforcement practices. Those interested in attending can register here.
Save the Date – 11th European Tax Advisers Professional Affairs Conference, 23 November Madrid
CFE Tax Advisers Europe and the Asociación Española de Asesores Fiscales (AEDAF) are pleased to invite you to the 11th European Conference on Tax Advisers’ Professional Affairs, to be held in Madrid, Spain, on Friday 23 November 2018 from 9am to 3pm on the topic of “Transparency Trends in Taxation: How to Implement New EU & OECD Mandatory Disclosure Rules”. More details are available on the CFE Tax Advisers Europe website.
The selection of the remitted material has been prepared by
Piergiorgio Valente/ Aleksandar Ivanovski/ Brodie McIntosh/ Filipa Correia