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Overheard on Fiscal odyssey: Is the FTT on the rocks again?

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On 4 February 2014, Algirdas Šemeta (European Commissioner for taxation, among other things) made an impassioned and highly political speech to the European Parliament about the introduction of the financial transactions tax. The long and short of it was that he feels:

  • the momentum for implementing the financial transactions tax across the 11 EU states that have committed to it is being lost; and
  • the options presented by the European Parliament, including compromise elements such as a lower rate for certain products such as government bonds and exemptions for intra-group transactions, whilst viable, have not been taken up with enough zeal by the 11 states.

He also makes it explicit that the Commission would support a gradual implementation of the tax if that made it start to come into being sooner rather than later.

The whole speech smells of real frustration at the lack of impetus for a project he clearly believes in. There appears to be political will in some corners, most notably the new German coalition, but equally, there are very strong groups who want to see the whole proposal scrapped. The question is, is it really going to get anywhere?

The above commentary is from ‘Fiscal odyssey’, a new micro-blog for tax professionals from Tax Journal and Lexis®PSL Tax