On 19 February 2016 the Netherlands Presidency issued the final version of its roadmap, setting out future work in the Council during the coming months, in the field of Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The roadmap intends to set out how the Presidency will conduct such work, taking into account views expressed by Member States in informal bilateral contacts and against the background of recent European Commission (EC) initiatives, as well as the results of the OECD work on BEPS.
In the short term, the roadmap sets out further plans including:
Interest & Royalties Directive: the Presidency will aim at presenting a compromise text with a view to reaching a political agreement on the possible inclusion of a Minimum Effective Taxation (MET) test;
Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive and country by country reporting: the Presidency will give high priority to these files, with a view to reaching a political agreement by June 2016;
Reform of the Code of Conduct Group (Direct Taxation): the Presidency will put forward concrete proposals regarding the governance, transparency and working methods of the Group to improve its political visibility and transparency, and decide on the revision of the Group’s mandate, before June 2016;
Hybrid mismatches: the Presidency intends to reach agreement on guidance and explanatory notes on Hybrid Permanent Establishment Mismatches in cases involving third countries before June 2016;
Patent Boxes: the Presidency notes that the Code of Conduct Group will continue monitoring the legislative process necessary to change existing patent box regimes; and
OECD BEPS issues in Double Taxation Agreements: the Presidency will discuss the appropriate way forward in the Council, including possible Council conclusions on the Commission Recommendation of 28 January 2016 on the implementation of measures against tax treaty abuse.
The roadmap also sets out medium term priorities including:
Transfer Pricing: the Code of Conduct Group will start work on EU guidance on the interpretation of the fourth criterion following OECD BEPS conclusions on Actions 8-9-10 (Aligning transfer pricing outcomes with value creation);
Outbound Payments: the Code of Conduct Group could start work in spring 2016 regarding the identification of potential problems which arise when payments are made from the EU to a third country;
Disclosure of aggressive tax planning: the Code of Conduct Group will assess the opportunity of developing EU guidance for implementing OECD BEPS conclusions on Action 12 (disclosure of aggressive tax planning), notably with a view to facilitate exchange of such information between tax authorities;
Beneficial ownership of non-transparent entities: some Member States expressed strong interest in a possible extension of the access to the register foreseen in the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive to tax authorities, in order to exchange information for tax purposes;
Dispute settlement in the area of Transfer Pricing: the High Level Working Party could discuss the state of play regarding the Arbitration Convention allowing the settlement of disputes concerning transfer pricing; and
Conditions and rules for the issuance of tax rulings: the Code of Conduct Group will develop a set of guidelines on the conditions and rules for the issuance of tax rulings by Member States.