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European Tax Summit 2011


Tax Justice Network: Crackdown on Tax Avoidance Needed







    

John Christensen, a speaker at the marcus evans European Tax Summit 2011, explains that tax avoidance by companies in a recessionary economy is no longer being tolerated by the public.


Interview with: John Christensen, Director of the International Secretariat, Tax Justice Network



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


The move by the EU towards a common consolidated corporate tax base in order to harmonise corporate income tax is a welcomed one, according to John Christensen, Director of the International Secretariat, Tax Justice Network. A speaker at the marcus evans European Tax Summit 2011 taking place in Montreux, Switzerland, 13 – 15 March, Christensen says this common tax base for corporates is required in the interests of fairness and equality.


What are the biggest challenges facing the tax sector in Europe?


John Christensen: Tax avoidance by companies has become a very high profile public issue. Some companies are now finding themselves in the headlines and the tax avoidance arguments they put up in the past are no longer accepted by the public.


The EU is currently reviewing a case of having a country-by-country reporting system, which would require multi-national companies to disclose the activities of their subsidiaries in every country where they operate.


The UK Government is starting to explore a General Anti-Avoidance Principle that will steer the judiciary towards rejecting transactions, which have tax avoidance as their prime goal. Avoidance is not a legitimate activity: by definition it involves taking active measures to get around the will of the legislatures. It harms market competition and undermines public well-being.


How can international cooperation on tax be achieved?


John Christensen: There is an institutional gap here. The OECD has for decades played a dominant role in formulating the international rules for taxation and tax information exchange. This is important for developing markets because they are among the worst victims of tax cheating and tax competition. Multinational companies are most aggressive in tax evasion and avoidance in developing markets. The OECD’s measures are weak, complex and ineffective and it is very difficult to move forward, politically speaking, because most secrecy jurisdictions are either in or associated to OECD countries.


The UN has the advantage of being a legitimate body to work in this area. The problem is that until now the political will to move forward has been very, very slight. This is because of an unholy alliance of political interests and the interests of OECD countries to protect their tax haven status and offshore tax industries.


Tax competition is rotting the global economy from the heart. It is undermining democracy and revenue generation by shifting the tax burden increasingly away from those who can afford it.


What tax developments do you predict in 2011?


John Christensen: Interestingly the EU is moving towards putting the common consolidated corporate tax base on the agenda again. This is a move to harmonise the tax bases, not tax rates. It is something that many companies welcome. However, some countries are resisting because they use tax competition as an aggressive part of their development strategies. 


We hope to see moves towards apportioning profits on a formula basis reflecting real economic activity, rather than purely legal forms devised by accountants. The corporate community now needs to accept that this is the logical way of progressing not just regionally in Europe, but globally. This is how multi-nationals can most easily and fairly be taxed. It runs in line with the way in which they operate – unlike the current tax strategy where they are able to hide their profits behind offshore subsidiaries and are taxed at a national level in a way which frankly enables them to treat tax almost as a voluntary contribution. This economic free-riding is harmful to market competition and shifts the tax charge onto other factors of production.


Also, we are pushing for a shift away from the transfer pricing measures promoted by the OECD, which are both complex and unworkable.



Contact:
Maeve McGovern
Group News and Features Writer, marcus evans
Tel: + 357 22 849 313
Email:
press@marcusevanscy.com



About the European Tax Summit 2011


This unique forum will take place at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux, Switzerland, 13 – 15 March 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on archiving essential tax documentation, boosting departmental efficiency with limited resources, and searching out favourable tax regimes.


For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website at www.taxsummit.com


marcus evans group – finance/insurance sector portal


Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.


About marcus evans summits


marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit www.marcusevans.com
 


All rights reserved. The above content may be republished or reproduced – kindly inform us by sending an email to press@marcusevanscy.com


 

European Tax Summit 2011


Companies Must Be Relieved of Double Tax Burden







    

Krister Andersson, a speaker at the marcus evans European Tax Summit 2011, delivers on the measures being taken to combat double taxation.


Interview with: Krister Andersson, Chairman of Tax Policy Group, BUSINESSEUROPE & Head of the Tax Delegation for Swedish Business and Commerce



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Governments are under increasing pressure because of their budgetary predicament and the need to raise additional revenue. As a result companies operating in a number of jurisdictions are facing the risk of double or multiple taxation, says Krister Andersson, Chairman of Tax Policy Group, BUSINESSEUROPE and Head of the Tax Delegation for Swedish Business and Commerce. A speaker at the marcus  evans European Tax Summit 2011 in Montreux, Switzerland, 13 – 15 March, Andersson argues that an international tax strategy is needed not only Europe-wide but on a global scale to eliminate international double taxation.


What are some of the prominent tax issues and challenges in Europe at the moment?


Krister Andersson: The common theme at the moment is the risk of double taxation for internationally active companies. Companies are faced with taxation in multiple jurisdictions for the same net profit. A lot of our companies are active in BRIC countries where there is a very high growth rate. Sometimes they face taxation in those countries which they cannot alleviate or get credit for in their home countries. That is the biggest challenge for the business model that companies adhere to. The risk of double taxation has significantly increased in the last few years, mainly due to the fact that governments are increasingly aggressive in their tax claims. This is the case not only in the BRIC countries but also in Europe and the Americas.


What measures are being taken to address the problem of double taxation?


Krister Andersson: The OECD, EU and UN are all active in this area trying to set the legal framework making it possible for companies to be taxed only once. We see governments being increasingly aggressive because of revenue constraints and the need to raise revenue. As a result more and more cases of double taxation are being raised.


At the EU level there is the Joint Transfer Pricing Forum where heads of tax for various businesses sit down with government representatives and try to sort out how double taxation issues could be resolved in Europe. There is also active work being undertaken by the OECD and the UN on similar issues trying to implement a general framework of how to split the tax cake between the countries where multinational companies operate.


What are the latest developments in transfer pricing?


Krister Andersson: In the global arena, what we have seen is that many more countries impose specific requirements on documentation for transfer pricing purposes. And governments increasingly question the pricing for intra-group transactions and challenge the assessment. We can expect that to become even worse in the years to come due to the budgetary situation in a number of countries. We also have initiatives of multinationals reporting country-by-country the tax payments in each country. Increased focus lies on how much companies pay in taxes in various jurisdictions.


What long term strategies would you recommend to your peers in Europe?


Krister Andersson: Engaging in a policy discussion with revenue authorities and governments on how to find a suitable system of allocating tax and profits across jurisdictions is important. There needs to be some reconciliation of principles of how to tax within the global arena. We also need to work on an overall structure to engage policy makers or revenue authorities in a dialogue of how to settle tax disputes in a timely manner. Otherwise this will get out of hand for businesses and will mean less investment and less production and growth and fewer employment opportunities to the detriment of public budgets. We must move away from purely national considerations to an international discussion on splitting the tax cake.



Contact:
Maeve McGovern
Group News and Features Writer, marcus evans
Tel: + 357 22 849 313
Email:
press@marcusevanscy.com



About the European Tax Summit 2011


This unique forum will take place at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux, Switzerland, 13 – 15 March 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The Summit includes presentations on archiving essential tax documentation, boosting departmental efficiency with limited resources, and searching out favourable tax regimes.


For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website at www.taxsummit.com


marcus evans group – finance/insurance sector portal


Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.



About marcus evans summits


marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit www.marcusevans.com
 


All rights reserved. The above content may be republished or reproduced – kindly inform us by sending an email to press@marcusevanscy.com

European Tax Summit 2011


Surviving Tax:
How to Face the Complexities of Tax in Europe






    

Patrick Ellingsworth, the Chairman of the marcus evans European Tax Summit 2011 addresses some of the many issues troubling tax directors in Europe.


Interview with: Patrick Ellingsworth, Former Chair Taxation Committee, BIAC-OECD, Trustee, IBFD



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Complexities and opportunities seem to multiply constantly when it comes to tax. Trying to address an ever changing tax environment, changing regulation and legislation, and pressures to be more transparent and commercially viable are taxing taxation executives. Patrick Ellingsworth, the Chairman of the marcus evans European Tax Summit 2011 in Montreux, Switzerland, 13 – 15 March, shares his thoughts on the challenges facing tax executives, how they can minimise their exposure to tax risks and the latest developments in transfer pricing.


What are the top tax risks in Europe?


Pat Ellingsworth: A major risk relates to the increased coordination of tax authorities. This is impacting the exchange of information practices between countries, but also, the tax authorities are exchanging information about tax planning techniques and how taxpayers have been structuring their businesses to minimise taxes. The exchange of information and coordination of techniques has made it more difficult for taxpayers to know what works and what does not.


The principal technique for dealing with this is to engage actively with tax authorities, to know what concerns them and what matters they are coordinating on. When there is a dispute they will know how to approach and resolve issues, and what areas authorities are likely to focus on in an audit. Exchange of information with tax authorities is generally a good idea, as long as the tax administration is forthcoming with respect to their perspective as well.


The other risk is what I call the “US risk”; the US has for a long time had very detailed tax rules on just about everything, and that practise has been taken up by a number of other jurisdictions in Europe. The tax authorities are each adding their variation to the rules, and as a result, taxpayer planning across borders is more complex and somewhat less certain. 


What are the major developments in transfer pricing at the moment? 


Pat Ellingsworth: The major one is the broad reconsideration of the taxation of intangibles, brands and the like. It is not clear how this will turn out, but more coordination among tax authorities is inevitable. Another development is the increased emphasis of tax authorities on documenting transfer pricing positions in advance. Adjustments have been proposed by tax authorities solely on the grounds that the taxpayer did not file the documentation at the time the audit commenced.


What are your projections for the coming few years?


Pat Ellingsworth: Two areas are going to be major topics for discussion, one relating to permanent establishments and whether or not taxable in the other countries, and if they are, what is the computation of the income. The OECD has two major projects dealing with this and companies will have to adapt practises to deal with any new rules.


The second area is value added tax; Europe is finally looking at whether cross-border rules are coordinated and efficient. This is especially welcome for some companies, as value added tax is a very expensive proposition and the ability to administer it more efficiently would significantly improve cost structures.



Contact:
Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian
Press Manager
marcus evans, Summits Division
Tel: + 357 22 849 313
Email:
press@marcusevanscy.com



About the European Tax Summit 2011


This unique forum will take place at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace, Montreux, Switzerland, 13 – 15 March 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on how to respond to the changing tax environment, business restructuring, averting double taxation and achieving true tax efficiency.


For more information please send an email to info@marcusevanscy.com or visit the event website at www.taxsummit.com


marcus evans group – finance/insurance sector portal


Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.



About marcus evans summits


marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit www.marcusevans.com
 


All rights reserved. The above content may be republished or reproduced – kindly inform us by sending an email to press@marcusevanscy.com