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Global Tax 50 2014: ECJ Translators

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 AlmuniaAppleJustice Patrick BoyleCTPAJoe HockeyIMFArun JaitleyMarius KohlTizhong LiaoKosie LouwPierre MoscoviciMichael NoonanWolfgang SchäubleAlgirdas ŠemetaRobert Stack


Bronze tier (in alphabetic order)

Shinzo AbeAlberto ArenasPiet BattiauMonica BhatiaBitcoinBonoWarren BuffettECJ TranslatorsEurodadHungarian protestorsIndian Special Investigation Team (SIT)Chris JordanArmando Lara YaffarMcKessonPatrick OdierOECD printing facilitiesPier Carlo PadoanMariano RajoyNajib RazakAlex SalmondSkandiaTax Justice NetworkEdward TroupMargrethe VestagerHeinz Zourek

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