quinta-feira, maio 08, 2008

European Commission takes action over breaches of tax rules

Spain and Portugal must change their discriminatory taxation of dividends rules following a second request from the European Commission.
The member states have two months to explain why dividends paid to foreign pension funds are taxed higher than domestic dividends, which are tax exempt.
The European Commission believes that the higher tax on dividends paid to foreign pensions funds may dissuade these funds from investing in the member state levying the higher tax. Companies established in the member state may also face difficulties in attracting capital from foreign pension funds.
The Commission regards this difference in treatment as a restriction on the free movement of capital.
And Romania and Bulgaria must explain to the Commission why they apply a higher level of taxation on dividends paid to foreign companies than domestic companies.
Domestic dividends on participations in Romania of up to 15% of the shares are subject to a final withholding tax of 10%. On similar outbound dividends, the country levies a withholding tax of 16%. Domestic dividends on participations of 15% or more are tax exempt.
Bulgaria exempts domestic dividends from withholding tax or corporation tax. But outbound dividends paid to companies resident in the EU with a shareholding of less than 15% are subject to a withholding tax of 5%.
Managing partner of Romanian advisory firm, TaxHouse, Angela Rosca said: "The ministry of finance is taking this issue very seriously. A government meeting took place on May 7 to discuss the matter. It is expected that a measure will be decided shortly, as currently the ministry is working on the simulation of the tax impact of possible alternative measures to eliminate the discrimination of 10% vs 16%."
The Commission sent reasoned opinions, the second step in the infringement procedure, to
Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania and Spain on May 6.(...)


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