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Global Tax 50 2014: ECJ Translators

16 December 2014

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Translation service providers

 ECJ Translators
ECJ Translators is a new entry this year

The role of a translator, even one at the European Court of Justice, is surely administrative, organisational and secretarial. A typical translation service involves taking the words put together by one person, organisation or body, and using language skills to make them accessible to a wider audience.

The meaning of those words does not change; the people they can reach does.

But this was not the case this year after the ECJ's judgement in Skandia, published in September, concerning the VAT treatment of cross-border supplies of services from a company headquarters to a branch, and how this differs when VAT groups come into play.

Confusion and concern about the implications of the ruling for various EU member states arose when it became clear there were slight discrepancies in the meaning of different translations of the verdict, which was originally given in Swedish.

The question that led to such controversy was whether the Swedish judgement should be translated to read "as" or "insofar as". The seemingly minor difference in terms would lead to drastically different outcomes. An "as" interpretation would suggest that countries with different grouping rules from Sweden would have to change their legislation, which would broaden the scope of the judgement's impact on national tax regimes dramatically.

It should be pointed out that the translators at the ECJ do a stellar job providing a service that largely goes unrecognised and is taken for granted. Unfortunately, it takes an instance like this to bring those efforts to the fore.

The Global Tax 50 2014
View the full list and introduction
Gold tier (ranked in order of influence)
1.  Jean-Claude Juncker  2.  Pascal Saint-Amans  3.  Donato Raponi  4.  ICIJ  5.  Jacob Lew  6.  George Osborne  7.  Jun Wang  8.  Inverting pharmaceuticals  9.  Rished Bade  10.  Will Morris

Silver tier (in alphabetic order)
Joaquín Almunia Apple Justice Patrick Boyle CTPA Joe Hockey IMF Arun Jaitley Marius Kohl Tizhong Liao Kosie Louw Pierre Moscovici Michael Noonan Wolfgang Schäuble Algirdas Šemeta Robert Stack

Bronze tier (in alphabetic order)
Shinzo Abe Alberto Arenas Piet Battiau Monica Bhatia Bitcoin Bono Warren BuffettECJ Translators Eurodad Hungarian protestors Indian Special Investigation Team (SIT) Chris Jordan Armando Lara Yaffar McKesson Patrick Odier OECD printing facilities Pier Carlo Padoan Mariano Rajoy Najib Razak Alex Salmond Skandia Tax Justice Network Edward Troup Margrethe Vestager Heinz Zourek






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