Taxation of the collaborative economy requires genuine European cooperation

The EESC calls on the European Commission and the Member States to apply existing fiscal regulatory systems and tax regimes to the collaborative/digital economy.

"The legal framework must lead to a fair and balanced tax system for all economic activities and business models, without limiting the collaborative economy's potential to provide jobs and growth," says Giuseppe Guerini (Various interests - Italy), rapporteur for the EESC opinion on taxation of the collaborative economy.

Current tax regulations do not take new business models and economic activities properly into account. This creates legal and tax-related uncertainty, distorts competition and leads to revenue loss. To tackle these issues, the EESC urges national authorities to step up their cooperation and adapt their regulations, although it believes that only a genuinely European approach can properly address the digital economy. Co-rapporteur Krister Andersson (Employers, SE) says: "European authorities must establish channels of cooperation beyond Europe in order to lay down some ground rules for a truly digital economy".

Although new technologies facilitate and boost the collaborative economy, the EESC considers it important to assess it in its entirety, without equating it with the digital economy. The EESC believes that the introduction of a reasonable income threshold could help regulate the taxation of revenue and considers that more information about tax obligations should be communicated to the general public. EU policy-makers and legislators also have to ensure that consumers, workers and service providers – as well as privacy and personal data – are protected. (jk)