Taxation of the collaborative economy – reporting requirements (additional opinion)

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Avizul CESE: Taxation of the collaborative economy – reporting requirements (additional opinion)

Key points:

The EESC

  • underlines that taxation and tax policies must adapt to constant developments in the collaborative economy. In this respect, new or special tax regimes should not be developed and the EESC considers that it would be more appropriate to adapt current tax rules and models to the new economic situation, maintaining a level playing field for the various stakeholders;
  • asks that national tax systems take account of the collaborative economy and digital platforms, upholding the principles of a fair tax system (i.e. consistency, predictability and neutrality) in this sector, while at the same time guaranteeing the public interest of all relevant parties' discharging their tax obligations;
  • believes that both tax policies applicable to the digitalisation of the economy and the devising of instruments and working solutions must be coordinated at international level. The EESC is therefore very pleased that the Commission, the Member States and the OECD/G20 are working together, recognising that the types of cooperation already in place have already produced tangible results and may produce further, more significant ones in future;
  • stresses that international, European and national institutions must act effectively and rapidly in order to deal with the questions raised by the digital and collaborative economy, taking a proactive rather than a merely reactive approach to the emergence of specific issues;
  • emphasises that one issue crucial for the tax systems applicable to the collaborative economy is the obligations incumbent on digital platforms with regard to collecting, communicating to tax authorities and keeping information on transactions (reporting obligations). These obligations should not constitute an excessive administrative burden for platforms;
  • considers that sharing information properly within a functional and proportionate system for collecting and exchanging data could make the work of tax authorities easier and establish a reliable and predictable system for businesses, which would be beneficial for the entire collaborative economy;
  • calls for the development of a European standard for collecting the data and information on their own users that platforms will have to communicate to the tax authorities and keep. Reporting obligations should be clear and harmonised across the Member States. A European standard could limit unilateral action by Member States which creates a counterproductive patchwork of rules and uncertainty as to which rules apply in the internal market;
  • stresses that the exchange of information between private parties and public authorities must naturally comply with European legislation on the protection of privacy and the processing of individuals' personal data, and meet the criteria of need, proportionality and strictinterpretation of any waivers granted from the broad principles in the field of privacy for the purpose of enforcing tax rules.