Europe: Taxation in the European Union

This event is organized in collaboration with:

Logo of Vienna University of Economics and Business

The WU-Baker McKenzie conference “Taxation in the European Union: what happened and what’s next? “ will be held on Thursday November 4. This conference is jointly organized by the Austrian and International Tax Law Institute of the WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business) and Baker McKenzie and will host guest speakers from the European Commission.

The aim of the conference is to give the business community and other interested parties an update on the hottest topics in the EU tax world and what you need to know to stay on top. The views of the European Commission, academia and practices will be shared.

We will discuss the latest developments in European business taxation, taking into account the EU’s own plans for digital taxes, environmental taxes and others. We will highlight new buzzwords like DEBRA, BEFIT, etc., and how EU tax policy interacts with global developments. Critical developments regarding beneficial ownership and tax abuse will be addressed. The current transfer pricing environment within the EU will also be discussed. Finally, our experts will discuss the interplay between recent developments in national law and rules generally applicable in many countries and the case law of the European Court of Justice.

This unique event will consist of 4 virtual sessions that will take place throughout the day. The full session preview is shown below. Please register for any session that interests you. If you have a question related to a specific topic, please include it when registering. The event is free.

* Each session can qualify you for professional development accreditation. Please check with the relevant professional body in your jurisdiction.

Session overview

Please register for each session that interests you individually via the SUBSCRIBE buttons below. The duration of each session is 60 to 75 minutes.

Once registered, you will receive your Zoom login details by email, we recommend that you save them in your Outlook calendar. If you have any issues during your registration or login process, please contact Jana Hanysova for assistance.

EU tax policy – Be prepared for what lies ahead

8:30 am – 10:30 am GMT | 9:30 am – 10:30 am CET
In recent years, the EU has proven to be very effective in introducing EU-wide legislation in the context of direct taxation, mainly in the form of directives. Whereas before most European directives in the field of direct taxation were aimed at protecting taxpayers against double taxation in the internal market, the most recent European directives clearly aim at protecting the “tax base” in Europe. The EU is also known for pushing forward global tax policy initiatives and converting them into ‘hard law’ at EU level. On May 18, 2021, the European Commission published the Communication on Business Taxation for the 21st Century which sets out a tax agenda for the next two years, with targeted measures in the area of ​​taxation. This session will provide an overview of these proposals and how they fit into broader developments in global tax policy.


Who is the beneficial owner or has he committed abuses?

10:00 am – 11:15 am GMT | 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CET
The concept of beneficial owner rose to the fore in European taxation after the Danish cases of February 2019 occurring in different countries. In addition, new legislative initiatives in this area may arise, such as ATAD 3.
Experts from the European Commission, WU and Baker McKenzie will provide insight into the fundamentals of beneficial ownership and tackling abuse with respect to dividend, interest and royalty flows, do’s and don’ts and what not to do in practice and what can provide sufficient comfort. They will also be forward-looking on what is expected and what international groups must take into account for their business structuring.


Transfer pricing in the EU: how to be independent in the common market?

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. GMT | 3.30 p.m. – 4.30 p.m. CET
The interpretation and practical implementation of transfer pricing rules are constantly evolving in the EU. Transfer pricing auditing activities are increasing dramatically and, as a result, court cases are on the rise in many Member States. In addition, the Competition branch of the European Commission has launched investigations into the interaction between transfer pricing and state tax aid, with the aim of paving the way for new approaches. In addition, countries are developing many initiatives to increase transparency, dispute prevention, as well as dispute resolution, through more efficient procedures and mechanisms.


Possible conflicts between trends in national legislation and ECJ case law

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. GMT | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. CET
Focusing on recent developments in national law and rules generally applicable in many countries, panelists will discuss the interplay between national laws and the case law of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”).
In particular, the panelists will focus on aspects of EU law i) national rules and / or administrative directives the object or effect of which is to deter cross-border reorganizations and tax migration of legal persons, ii) examples currents of national rules applying a presumption of abuse and iii) the impact of ECJ case law on national VAT grouping rules.


Mary I. Bruner