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A better international tax system: EU perspectives

A series of discussions about the international tax system, organised by ICAEW.


ICAEW has been actively engaged in discussions relating to tax policy, working to help improve national, European and international tax regimes. In our continuing effort to progress the dialogue on steps to improve the international and European tax system, we are organising a series of events since 2014 in Brussels.

Creating a more appropriate tax framework as a backdrop for business to contribute to the growth and jobs agenda is a key objective for the EU and the international community. At the same time, it is important to ensure that aggressive tax planning and illegal tax evasion do not undermine this objective. Aggressive cross-border tax planning can threaten the public finances and, if unchecked, can undermine citizens’ trust in the fairness and integrity of the tax system. At stake is the capacity of governments to make and implement decisions which affect the public today and tomorrow. In the EU, the loss of revenue due to illegal fraud and tax evasion schemes has been estimated to amount to as much as one trillion euros annually by some commentators.

The G20 Summit in Russia endorsed the OECD’s Action Plan to counter base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS), in recognition that adjusting the current international tax regime to reflect an increasingly global and digital economy is essential. Reform needs also to respond to a growing popular perception that large companies are paying reduced amounts of tax at a time when austerity measures are placing additional burdens on ordinary citizens. A fairer and more predictable global tax framework, which will encourage economic growth while ensuring that all businesses, large and small, make an appropriate contribution to the public finances, is needed.

The global tax framework is designed to tax international businesses by reference to the location where they make their profits. In today’s world – and especially for digital businesses – it is increasingly difficult to determine where those profits arise. A coherent and co-ordinated approach to taxing the economy at EU and international level will need to both protect the tax bases of individual countries and ensure a fair system internationally.

Our intention is to bring together a wide range of participants from different backgrounds, including the EU institutions, national governments, business and civil society to debate different aspects of the BEPS Action Plan and how the EU can contribute to improve the international tax system.

Details of the events

EU tax policy: evolution or revolution?

 9 December 2015

The digital economy - How should it be taxed?

22 January 2014, Brussels

Taxation for innovation

8 April 2014, Brussels

Global Tax Reform: Transformation or Tinkering

17 November 2014, Brussels

Tax Fairness and Transparency

4 March 2015, Brussels