International Tax Review is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 8 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

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

EU FTT: End of the beginning, or beginning of the end?


Bob van der Made

The Informal ECOFIN Council meeting on September 13 2014 in Milan included a behind-closed-doors political discussion among the EU-28 finance ministers on the way forward with the EU financial transaction tax (FTT) under enhanced cooperation (no minutes or conclusions of these informal council meetings are published). It is understood that although no substantial progress has been made or communicated after the informal ECOFIN, it seems that the participating EU-11 member states in the enhanced cooperation procedure (EU-11; Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain) are now closer to a compromise agreement than they have been. The project now seems to go in the direction of a UK-style stamp duty but with revenue sharing among the participating member states to keep the smaller EU-11 on board.

The provisional agenda of the (formal) ECOFIN Council of November 7 2014 includes a (public) political orientation debate on EU FTT among the EU-28 finance ministers. The EU FTT is a big political dossier for the Italian presidency so there seems to be momentum. The Italians will try their utmost to stick to the EU-10/11 commitment and timetable announced on May 6 2014, and to achieve meaningful progress during their presidency which runs until January 1 2015.

It is understood that the EU-11 finance ministers met separately on the eve of the Informal ECOFIN Council, and, not unimportantly, that the EU-28 ministers also already met informally in the margins of the Eurozone meeting the day before. However, at the technical level, there is still a considerable lack of agreement. There still seems to be strong disagreement around the purpose and technical design of the tax (for example, scope and inclusion of derivatives, issuance principle and/or residence principle, risk of relocation, collection mechanism and revenue sharing mechanism). These technical issues should be solved per the self-imposed EU-11 deadline by the end of this year. This seems an ambitious deadline, and the January 1 2016 starting date for step 1 of the EU FTT remains uncertain. However, the EU FTT project is one of the most politicised legislative projects to date and one to which four of the big five EU member states are committed, which are all part of the Eurozone grouping. The EU FTT is therefore unlikely to go away and initially will converge to the lowest common denominator. Recent developments may mark the end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end for the EU FTT project.

Bob van der Made (


Tel: +31 88 792 3696


more across site & bottom lb ros

More from across our site

The Brazilian government may be about to align the country’s unique system with OECD standards, but this is a long-awaited TP reform and success is uncertain.
Two months since EU political agreement on pillar two and few member states have made progress on new national laws, but the arrival of OECD technical guidance should quicken the pace. Ralph Cunningham reports.
It’s one of the great ironies of recent history that a populist Republican may have helped make international tax policy more progressive.
Lawmakers have up to 120 days to decide the future of Brazil’s unique transfer pricing rules, but many taxpayers are wary of radical change.
Shell reports profits of £32.2 billion, prompting calls for higher taxes on energy companies, while the IMF warns Australia to raise taxes to sustain public spending.
Governments now have the final OECD guidance on how to implement the 15% global minimum corporate tax rate.
The Indian company, which is contesting the bill, has a family connection to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – whose government has just been hit by a tax scandal.
Developments included calls for tax reform in Malaysia and the US, concerns about the level of the VAT threshold in the UK, Ukraine’s preparations for EU accession, and more.
A steady stream of countries has announced steps towards implementing pillar two, but Korea has got there first. Ralph Cunningham finds out what tax executives should do next.
The BEPS Monitoring Group has found a rare point of agreement with business bodies advocating an EU-wide one-stop-shop for compliance under BEFIT.