On January 30, 2018 on the website of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) the opinion of Advocate General Wahl in the Joined Cases C‑660/16 and C‑661/16 Finanzamt Dachau versus Achim Kollroß (C‑660/16) and Finanzamt Göppingen versus Erich Wirtl (C‑661/16) (ECLI:EU:C:2018:45) was published.

As Benjamin Franklin famously wrote in a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy in 1789, ‘in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes’.

In the present proceedings the referring court — two different chambers of the Bundesfinanzhof (Federal Finance Court, Germany) —asks the Court, in essence, to clarify the circumstances in which a future supply of goods or services should, for the purposes of the rules on value added tax (‘VAT’) laid down in Directive 2006/112/EC, be considered to be sufficiently certain to permit deduction of the VAT paid by the recipient on account, even when the supply ultimately does not take place because of fraud on the part of the supplier. The referring court also asks the Court to clarify the ensuing legal consequences in terms of adjustments of the deduction and refunds by the tax authorities.

On January 25, 2018 the European Commission published its “January infringements package: key decisions”. One of the decisions included in this January infringements package is the decision of the Commission to send the United Kingdom a letter of formal notice.

On January 25, 2018 the European Commission published its “January infringements package: key decisions”. In a reasoned opinion the European Commission requests Italy to lift restrictions on the free movement of capital in relation to investments in real estate.

On January 23, 2018 the OECD issued a press release in which it announced that at that same date a pilot of a new Forum on Tax Administration (FTA) programme for the multilateral risk assessment of large MNE groups was launched. This so-called International Compliance Assurance Programme (ICAP) is a pilot for a voluntary programme that will use CbC Reports and other information to facilitate open and co-operative multilateral engagements between MNE groups and tax administrations, with a view to providing early tax certainty and assurance.

According to the press release issued by the OECD the pilot for ICAP, includes the following eight FTA member tax administrations: Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. In the press release it is stated that a multilateral assessment of specific international tax risks posed by each MNE group in the pilot will commence during the first half of 2018 and is expected to be completed within a target timeframe of 12 months.

On January 24, 2018 the OECD issued a press release announcing that that same date Ministers and high-level officials from Barbados, Côte d’Ivoire, Jamaica, Malaysia, Panama and Tunisia signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (MLI). Therewith the number of signatorees to the MLI comes to 78.

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