In recent years, tax transparency has become a key issue for the EU and more broadly for international policymakers. There are several policy initiatives which are of particular relevance from a private equity perspective.
In May 2018, EU member states adopted an amendment to the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (DAC6). This amendment makes it mandatory for intermediaries (or in some cases taxpayers) to report cross-border transactions and arrangements to tax authorities and requires the subsequent automatic exchange of information between EU member states involved in those transactions.
Additional reporting requirements are likely to increase the administrative burden, potentially both at the fund and portfolio company level, in particular where the reporting requirement falls on the taxpayer due to professional privilege. Private equity by its nature operates across borders. Consideration needs to be given to whether certain transactions – or certain advice in the case of service providers – qualifies as reportable or not. At the same time, some member states have introduced significant fines in case of non-compliance.
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