Global Tax 50 2017: Pierre Moscovici
International Tax Review is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Global Tax 50 2017: Pierre Moscovici

Pierre Moscovici

Pierre Moscovici was also in the Global Tax 50 2015 and 2014

As one of the most important agenda-setters for EU tax policy, European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has made it into this year's Global Tax 50 after one year of absence. Moscovici oversees tax policy in his role on the European Commission. He speaks to International Tax Review about the achievements of the past year and what lies ahead in 2018.

A key part of the Juncker Commission's focus has been the challenges of tax avoidance and how to tackle this threat to the budgets of national governments across the EU, one major initiative being the common consolidated corporate tax base (CCCTB). When it comes to such matters, Moscovici is optimistic about the prospects for the coming year.

"The public debate around fairer taxation means that we now have a real chance to make lasting changes. We must seize that chance," Moscovici says. "We've already done a lot, but for 2018 I see three major avenues for progress."

"First, I want to see an EU level agreement on our proposal for new transparency rules for advisers and intermediaries who help to put in place tax avoidance structures," he says. "We will be keeping up the pressure on EU countries to adopt the CCCTB. True reform of how corporate tax works in the EU is needed to solve the problem of cross-border tax avoidance once and for all, to the benefit of all Europeans."

"The Panama and Paradise Papers and tales of large-scale tax avoidance by big companies have brought much greater public attention to the ways in which tax avoidance and tax evasion have been able to infiltrate our tax systems on such a grand scale," he adds.

The Commission plays a key role in supporting the proposals adopted by the European Council. Most recently, it compiled a list of 17 uncooperative tax jurisdictions and a separate grey list. The idea is that these lists will be updated on an annual basis, but these lists have been criticised by anti-tax avoidance campaigners for not going far enough in singling out certain states.

These efforts complement the EU's Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD). The ATAD carries strong measures for a common strategy to counter tax avoidance. "I'm confident that once the new rules have kicked in, we will see strong results and higher revenues for the coffers of member states," Moscovici says.

Taxing the digital economy

Beyond tackling tax avoidance, the European Commission is watching the burgeoning online economy closely and looking to establish a digital tax framework. As part of this project, the EU and the OECD have both opened their own consultation process on how online business should be taxed. This could be the starting point for major policy initiatives in 2018.

"The digital economy is an industry that mainly deals with intangible assets and does not recognise borders. That is why we are actively contributing to the global work on this at the OECD to try to achieve international solutions," Moscovici says. "I'm looking forward to seeing the fruits of that work. But the EU must have specific and targeted solutions that suit and protect our single market."

"All options are being examined so that we can deliver those solutions in early 2018," he continues. "I'm optimistic that we can quickly move ahead on this so that in the future, digital giants will contribute appropriately to the public finances of the countries in which they earn their profits."

The difficulty for the EU is the plethora of different business models used by online companies. The European Commission has identified at least four archetypes, such as online retail, social media, subscription and collaborative platforms. There are also companies that are hybrids of these business models.

Some European countries are already exploring options on this front. For instance Germany, France, Italy and Spain have come out in support of an equalisation tax, which would amount to a special levy on the turnover of digital companies. But the Juncker Commission is keen to avoid unilateral actions that may make it harder to find a common solution.

Moscovici has made it clear that the Commission wants to establish a level playing field for companies, but this still leaves the question of how this should be achieved. This includes the CCCTB, which would create the framework for revising the rules around permanent establishments.

"At the most basic level, it simply makes sense for big companies to have an easier and cheaper way to calculate their taxes in the EU, in turn making it easier and cheaper for them to operate cross-border," Moscovici says. "A stable tax environment, attractive schemes for R&D and the raising of equity complete the picture of the benefits this reform would bring for multinationals."

The Global Tax 50 2017

View the full list and introduction

The top 10 • Ranked in order of influence

1. US Tax Reform Big 6

2. Dawn of the robots

3. The breakdown of global consensus

4. The fifth estate

5. Margrethe Vestager

6. Arun Jaitley

7. Sri Mulyani Indrawati

8. Pascal Saint-Amans and Achim Pross

9. Richard Murphy

10. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi

The remaining 40 • In alphabetic order

Tomas Balco

Piet Battiau

Monica Bhatia


Rasmus Corlin Christensen

Seamus Coffey

Jeremy Corbyn

Rufino de la Rosa

Fabio De Masi

The Estonian presidency of the Council of the European Union

Maria Teresa Fabregas Fernandez

The fat tax

Maya Forstater

Babatunde Fowler

The GE/PwC outsourcing deal

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)

International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)

Meg Hillier

Chris Jordan

Wang Jun

James Karanja

Bruno Le Maire

John Pombe Joseph Magufuli

Cecilia Malmström

The Maltese presidency of the EU Council

Paige Marvel

Theresa May

Angela Merkel

Narendra Modi

Pierre Moscovici

The European Parliament Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA)

The Paris Agreement

Grace Perez-Navarro

Alexandra Readhead

Heather Self


Tax Justice Network

Donald Trump

United Nations Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters

WU Global Tax Policy Center

more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

KPMG Netherlands’ former head of assurance also received a permanent bar and $150,000 fine; in other news, asset management firm BlackRock lost a $13.5bn UK tax appeal
The new, fully integrated office will also offer M&A, dispute resolution, IP and corporate tax services
The new guidance concerns a recent 1% excise tax on the repurchases of corporate stock for both US and certain foreign companies
Interpath has hired a managing partner from rival accounting firm BDO to lead the new operation
Survey results of over 28,000 in-house lawyers reveal that American in-house counsel place a higher value on the reputation of external advisers than their peers elsewhere
In an exclusive interview with ITR, Andrew Leigh also endorsed new legislation designed to prevent multinationals using complex corporate structures to reduce taxes
The finalists for the 13th annual awards revealed
Nick Crama and Parwesh Bissumbhar, senior director and manager respectively at Alvarez & Marsal, outline practical advice for real estate managers to comply with DAC6 regulations
Survey results of over 25,000 in-house lawyers show competitive pricing and transparency in billing practices can help firms win clients
The new tech partnership will assist clients worldwide with pillar two; in other news, UK accountancy firm MHA completes a regional merger
Gift this article