Opinion Statements

CFE Opinion Statement on Financial Services

The CFE welcomes the fact that the European Commission has decided to review the basis upon which this fundamental sector of the European economy is subject to VAT. The CFE understands that the Commission currently believes that the charging of VAT on financial services is the only way in which distortions of competition that currently exist can be reduced. However, it is understood that the Commission does not consider that this solution is possible because of difficulties in determining the consideration for supplies of financial services and the amount of input VAT that should be recoverable.

The CFE recommends the Commission to review the possible methods of taxation of financial services taking into account their characteristics and to undertake a macroeconomic evaluation of the various options.

Further information

Press Release by the European Commission on VAT on Financial Services

Proposal for a Council Directive (COM/2007/747/FINAL) published by the European Commission on 28 November 2007

Proposal for a COuncil Regulation (COM/2002/246/FINAL) published by the European COmmisson on 28 November 2007


CFE Opinion Statement on withholding taxes on active income within the EU

Within barely a year, the ECJ has had the opportunity to confirm through three judgments the principles it laid down some years before in the Gerritse case. The judgments were those handed down in Conijn, Scorpio and Centro Equestre da Leziria Grande cases. With some differences, all cases related to the German legislation on withholding taxes on payments made to non-residents and, although establishing the same paramount rule, each of them went a bit further than the previous one into the different issues raised by the system of withholding tax which is common to all EU countries.

Against this background, the CFE Opinion Statement refers to the following questions:
- An overall approach or per-country approach?
- An open question. Are withholdings on active income still justified within the EU?

The main conclusion is that in order to be fully compatible with the Treaty, in the case of a non-resident who receives active income from another EU country and who is subject to tax in the source Member State, this non-resident taxpayer should be able to choose between submitting a tax return directly to the source country (from his own country), and applying all the deductions he is entitled to.