Business Briefs


Doing Business in Europe:
Taxation

The member state governments of the EU retain sole responsibility for most direct taxes - tax on company profits (i.e., corporate tax) and personal incomes, as well as savings and capital gains tax - on the grounds that they do not sufficiently affect the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital (the four freedoms of the European single market) to merit the intervention of the European Union. As long as the member states respect the broad economic policy guidelines of the EU, they retain complete freedom in spending and raising direct taxes. Ensuring the preservation of state autonomy in these areas, a unanimous vote is required to modify any EU tax rules. However, some national direct taxes do potentially impinge upon the four freedoms. National systems of direct taxation have not been harmonized at the EU-level. This lack of harmonization serves as a considerable source of disagreement among the member states.

  • Corporate Tax
  • Ongoing Disagreements on Tax Harmonization
  • European Corporate Tax Rates
  • Indirect Tax Harmonization in the EU
  • Ongoing Exemptions to Indirect Tax Harmonization
  • Green Taxation

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