On 12 September, the European Commission released a proposal called “Business in Europe: Framework for Income Taxation” (BEFIT) and two associated proposals on transfer pricing and a Head of Office tax system.
Sean Bray is Director of European Policy at the Tax Foundation, where he researches international tax issues with a focus on tax policy in Europe.
Prior to joining the Tax Foundation, Sean Bray worked in the United States Senate on tech, telecom, and trade policy. He also interned at the European Parliament during Brexit and has experience establishing European chapters of a transatlantic think tank network based out of Yale.
Sean has a master’s degree in European Political and Governance Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, a master’s degree in International Public Affairs from the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Sean is fluent in French and tries his best to speak German at a B2 level. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife and child.
Bermuda, long celebrated for its pristine beaches and offshore financial services, is embarking on a journey to recalibrate its tax mix. Spurred by the OECD’s Pillar Two initiative, the island will introduce its first-ever corporate income tax in 2025.
The EU’s recent VAT reform is an example of a win for governments, consumers, and companies. Charting a new path toward a more successful tax system.
Enhancing the European Union’s competitiveness is necessary, but the European Commission’s latest attempt is the wrong approach.
The agreement represents a major change for tax competition, and many countries will be rethinking their tax policies for multinationals in light of it. However, with both the U.S. and EU hitting roadblocks in their respective legislative processes, it is unclear when or even if the agreement will be implemented. If implementation fails, a return to a world of distortive European digital services taxes and retaliatory American tariffs could be on the horizon.
As policymakers shift their focus away from tax rates and look to harmonize the EU’s corporate tax base, they should understand the benefits of full expensing.
Permanent full expensing is an efficient and neutral tax policy that will allow markets to allocate private investment effectively while moving the economy towards the climate goals of the EU.
When it comes to EU-level tax policy ideas, competitiveness seems to be less of a priority than raising revenue or pursuing social objectives.
The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) is a key aspect of the EU’s broader Fit for 55 package which aims to cut 55 percent of net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the EU by 2030. The growing number of competing climate policies between the EU and U.S., such as tax provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, could present policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic an opportunity to work together.
Scandinavian countries are well known for their broad social safety net and their public funding of services such as universal health care, higher education, parental leave, and child and elderly care. So how do Scandinavian countries raise their tax revenues?
Younger and healthier Brits have created a $17.1 billion budget hole by smoking and drinking less. Yet, despite this resounding piece of positive news, some see any decline in tax revenues as a public finance crisis. Excise taxes target a tax base that is intended to shrink. Less consumption is a stated goal of the policy.
Focusing on the “threat” to European industry caused by the Inflation Reduction Act rather than internal tax system flaws puts the EU at risk of slower economic growth and possibly losing some of its important industrial base. It is also contrary to the EU’s geopolitical goals.
If the EU wants to strategically compete with economic powers like the United States or China, it needs principled, pro-growth tax policy that prioritizes efficient ways to raise revenue over geopolitical ambitions.
When it comes to providing economic relief to those in need, wartime energy security, and principled tax policy, the EU can do all three. But a windfall profits tax is not the policy to achieve these goals.
Taking into account central and subcentral taxes, Portugal has the highest corporate tax rate in Europe at 31.5 percent, followed by Germany and Italy at 29.8 percent and 27.8 percent, respectively
Pursuing Delors’ Single Market: What the EU Gets Wrong About Its Economic Power and What It Means for the U.S.
Before EU policymakers rush to implement massive reforms, they should remember the goals of the Single Market, its international limitations, and the role of tax policy.
The EU’s unilateral approach with carbon taxes, faster track on the global minimum tax, and threat of renewed efforts on DSTs means that U.S. policymakers face some hard choices. Policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic should keep in mind pro-growth tax and trade principles that promote a rules-based international order and increase opportunity.
French President Macron is coming to Washington, D.C., this week to ask President Biden the question on the minds of European leaders: “Why did you do this to us?”
Europe is facing difficult times. Governments are balancing the need for more resources with the need to maintain peace and prosperity domestically. To properly strike this balance, EU policymakers must incorporate “Fiscal Fairness” into the debate.
France’s individual income tax system is the least competitive among OECD countries. France’s top marginal tax rate of 45.9 percent is applied at 14.7 times the average national income. Additionally, a 9.7 surtax is applied to those at the upper end of the income distribution. Capital gains and dividends are both taxed at comparably high top rates of 34 percent.