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Solo attempt as an infringement of regulation

Published: May 20, 2010; 00:00 · (Vindobona)

It sounds uneventful, also hardly known by relevant experts however contains explosive substance in the context of the debated transaction tax.

Solo attempt as an infringement of regulation / Picture: © Vindobona.org

The "Directive on the indirect taxes on the accumulation of capital" of the EU also included the taxation of securities and will suppress constrictions of free capital movement and discrimination.

Before the revision of the rules two years ago there was an explicit reference to the EU-compatibility of the transaction tax. Now, there is only talk about a tax on the 'transfer' of securities. This causes problems, particularly if countries want to decide by themselves. The German expert Stefan Maunz’s interpretation of these talks is that not the volume, but only the number of transactions should be taxed. That would mean that these concessions are useless since they benefit from the traded volumes on the international financial markets.

Even the tax expert Friedrich Rödler, partner of PwC Consulting Group, has doubts: "If this is not carefully drafted, we will end up with significant problem." He points out that a breach of any EU directive is relevant also retroactively, which implies that tax revenues should be refunded by the Court of Jusice in case of a cancellation, as was the case for the beverage tax.

Maunz also sees "a clear risk of incompatibility with European law, because solo attempts curtail free movement of capital". Unlike to the opinion of Vienna financial law professor Werner Doralt: The word transfer of securities can not be interpreted so narrowly.

Financial Secretary Andreas Schieder said, all transactions except salary and pension payments should be taxed. He thereby includes private transfers and the trade of the pension funds.

Faymann critizised

The green MEP Ulrike Lunacek sharply criticised Chancellor Werner Faymann (SPO), who wants to carry out a referendum on the EU level. "This is an abuse of this instrument," she explains, the EU referendum has been created for the citizens and not for head of governments. He has the implement this through the EU Council. "

Aggravating factor is that the instrument of the EU referendum requires a legal basis. Thus, in the negotiations with the EU Commission it has to be clarified whether such a referendum could also refer to an alteration of the Union Treaties. "Mistakenly, the SPO also suggests that the income flows into the national budget, but it is clear that flows will be directed to EU pots." Faymann’s advancement in the case of a financial transaction tax which she herself very much welcomes mean that they mean "nothing but waste of time".

A EU referendum would only be possible as early as August 2011 probably later, while effects will be observable even later than that, says Lunacek.

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