05 Feb
Code of Conduct Business Taxation Consilium

Code of conduct on business taxation: new chair of the European Council working group

The European Council working group that oversees implementation of the EU’s code of conduct on business taxation has appointed a new chairperson.

Lyudmila Petkova (Bulgaria) took up the position on 5 February 2019 for a period of two years. Appointed at the group’s meeting on 30 January 2019, she replaces Fabrizia Lapecorella (Italy), who had chaired the group since 2017.

Criteria for assessing tax measures

The code of conduct on business taxation sets out criteria for assessing tax measures that potentially encourage harmful tax competition. It is implemented through a voluntary commitment by member states to peer-reviewed ‘standstill’ (refraining from introducing new harmful tax measures) and ‘rollback’ (abolishing existing harmful tax measures).

The code was established by Council conclusions adopted in December 1997.

New areas of work

Work has more recently expanded to new areas, such as:

– Anti-abuse measures

– Transparency and the exchange of information in the area of transfer pricing

– Administrative practice

– Links to third countries

In these areas, several ‘soft law’ initiatives (i.e. rules that are neither strictly binding nor lacking legal significance) have been agreed, including the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes in December 2017.

Implementing the code

The code of conduct group, established in 1998, is responsible for implementing the code of conduct and is a formal preparatory body of the Council. It is assisted by several subgroups, chaired by the rotating presidency.

One of the group’s main tasks for the near future will be to finalise the revision of the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

The Chair of the group, supported by the General Secretariat of the Council and with the technical assistance of the Commission services, is responsible for conducting the interactions and dialogues with third country jurisdictions on procedural and/or political aspects of the EU listing process.

As of today, 95 jurisdictions are covered by this exercise.

About Petkova

Ms Petkova is Director of the Tax Policy Directorate at the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance.

In 2018, during the Bulgarian presidency of the Council, she chaired the high level working party on taxation matters and served as first vice-chair of the code of conduct group.

Click here for further information about the Code of Conduct for business taxation.

By: Estela Martín

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