The Council working group that oversees implementation of the EU’s code of conduct on business taxation has appointed a new chairperson.
Fabrizia Lapecorella (Italy) took up the position at the beginning of February 2017 for a period of two years. Appointed at the group’s meeting on 25 January 2017, she replaces Dr Wolfgang Nolz (Austria), who had chaired the group since 2009.
The code of conduct on business taxation sets out criteria for assessing tax measures that potentially encourage harmful tax competition. It is implemented through a voluntary commitment by member states to peer-reviewed ‘standstill’ (refraining from introducing harmful new tax measures) and ‘rollback’ (abolishing existing harmful tax measures).
The code was established by Council conclusions adopted in December 1997.
New areas of work
Work has more recently expanded to new areas, such as:
- anti-abuse measures;
- transparency and the exchange of information in the area of transfer pricing;
- administrative practices;
- links to third countries.
In these areas, several ‘soft law’ initiatives (i.e. rules that are neither strictly binding nor lacking legal significance) have been agreed.
Implementing the code
The code of conduct group, established in 1998, is responsible for implementing the code of conduct and is a formal preparatory body of the Council. It is assisted by several subgroups, chaired by the rotating presidency. Two subgroups are currently active: one on third countries and the other on clarification of the 3rd and 4th criteria of the code.
One of the group’s main tasks for the near future will be to finalise establishment of an EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in tax matters.
On 1 February 2017, the process was launched by the dispatching of letters to 92 third-country jurisdictions, requesting information in accordance with Council Conclusions of 8 November 2016 on the criteria for and process leading to the establishment of the EU list.
The code of conduct group will conduct and oversee this screening process, supported by the Council’s secretariat. The Commission’s services will assist it by carrying out the necessary preparatory work.
Ms Lapecorella is director general of finance at the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. She is a member and vice-chair of the bureau of the OECD’s committee on fiscal affairs and a member of the OECD’s steering group of the ‘inclusive framework’ on BEPS (tax base erosion and profit shifting) implementation.
In 2014, during the Italian presidency of the Council, she chaired the high level working party on taxation matters.
Compliments of the European Council