EU should have carried out an impact assessment of tax changes

Speaking at an ECOFIN meeting of EU Finance Ministers in Brussels today, the Minister for Finance, Prof. Edward Scicluna, expressed disappointment that the proposed Anti-Tax-Avoidance Directive was not accompanied by an Impact Assessment which would have indicated the effect on Member States and also on the EU as a whole. This is especially so if there would be lack of progress on OECD BEPS deliverables in third countries. He said that the reasons put forward in the Commission’s report for not having such an Impact Assessment are not satisfactory. In this absence the Maltese government is therefore commissioning an Impact Assessment for the country.


With Mr Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, before today’s ECOFIN meeting in Brussels. ©European Union

The Minister stated that if the Council really wants to make rapid progress it should focus on those blatant cases of tax evasion and not interfere with domestic issues with little or no effect on BEPS. He stated that Malta is supportive of measures which are aimed at preventing corporate tax avoidance. The Minister, however, cautioned that certain elements in the corporate tax package go beyond what is necessary to prevent abuse and to achieve this objective.



The Minister also drew attention to the risk which some aspects of the proposal could have on the competitiveness of the EU and its Member States.

In conclusion, Minister Scicluna told the meeting that the Council’s experience with the FTT has shown that it would be more important to direct the Council’s effort on “quality” work rather than just “haste”.

During the Council meeting Finance Ministers also discussed, amongst others, measures to prevent terrorist financing; the state of play on the implementation of the Banking Union and adopted Budget Guidelines for 2017. In connection with the financing of terrorism item, Minister Scicluna noted Malta’s support for an action plan issued by the European Commission on 2nd February 2016, underlining the importance of achieving rapid progress on the legislative proposals which were made.

During the meeting, Minister Scicluna was accompanied by the Ambassador Marlene Bonnici, Permanent Representative of Malta to the EU, and Mr Alfred Camilleri, Permanent Secretary within the Ministry for Finance.

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– Friday, 12th February, 2016


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