The Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) and Third Countries
Edited by Michael Lang, Pasquale Pistone, Josef Schuch, Claus Staringer and Alfred Storck
Withholding tax issues are rather fragmentarily dealt with in the proposed CCCTB Directive. The issues are made more difficult by the consolidation element of the CCCTB Directive and relationship with tax treaties between Member States and third countries, which is not provided for in the directive. It is therefore understandable that the chapter Joachim Englisch prepared is limited to some selections. His chapter mainly focuses on the prohibition on charging withholding tax on intra-group transactions (Article 60 of the draft CCCTB Directive) as well as on the so-called shared revenue of the withholding tax imposed by the Member States on certain outbound payments (Article 77 of the draft CCCTB Directive). He takes a critical look at both the technical side of these provisions and at the policy choices underlying these provisions. Given the available space, it is not possible to respond to each part of Englisch’s comprehensive chapter. A selection had therefore to be made. Because the authors of this commentary assume that the technical imperfections identified by Englisch will have been removed in the final directive, the opportunity is used to react to two of Englisch’s striking opinions of a European political nature. His first opinion is that the harmonization process is rightly limited to corporate tax and does not also cover withholding taxes imposed by Member States. His second opinion elaborates on this, and comes down to the fact, given the sovereignty the Member States have to levy a withholding tax, in any case, Member States should not be obliged to share withholding tax revenue.
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