The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is pleased to have been asked to comment on the Working Papers 4 to 6 in respect of the OECD Tax Intermediaries Study. Wewelcome the attempt to reduce the burdens placed upon taxpayers and their agents by reducing their contact with revenue bodies. We have tried to respond fully to this very important consultation, but we are conscious that our paper has been prepared under resource constraints caused by a need to cover a plethora of consultations from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). We trust we have responded adequately to the issues, and look forward to further involvement in discussions on the project.
The CFE acknowledges the decision adopted by the ECJ in the Halifax case (C-255/02), on the 21st February 2006, which ruled in favour of the principle of prohibition of abuse of EC law as a general principle of interpretation. Although the ECJ justifies its decision with reference to an ongoing movement to combat and prevent evasion, avoidance and abuse (as an objective recognized and encouraged by the Sixth Directive – see joined cases C-487/01 and C-7/02 Geneente Lenden and Holin Groep and para. 71 of C-255/02), no doubt exists that it represents a significant landmark in tax matters and, in particular, in the VAT area.
Opinion Statement on Dispute Settling Procedure for Difficulties Arising From The Different Application of EC VAT Law Amongst The Member States
The elimination of differences in the VAT treatment of identical or similar transactions amongst the 25 Member States must be accomplished in an orderly fashion. There are several reasons for that:
- The Directive 06/112 itself leaves a lot of discretion up to the Member States.
- Due to historical positions a long list of transitional rules has been accepted as well as in all of the accession treaties commencing after the enactment of the Directive.
- On the basis of Art 395 of the Treaty more than 160 derogations from the Directive have been enacted in different Member States.