Companies often feel discouraged from doing business across the EU as dealing with 28 different tax systems (in different languages) requires a lot of time and resources. With a rapid growth of the digital economy this issue has to be discussed at the European level.
EIF and Kaja Kallas MEP invited a panel of small and big business representatives as well as a tax authority from Estonia to share their views on how to find an easy way for companies to pay taxes for their activities in Europe.
In her opening remarks Ms Kallas noted that when it comes to taxation in Europe we have to look into 3 aspects: where the activity takes place, different VAT regimes in Member States, and taxation of the sharing economy.
Lars Andersen, founder of “My Name Tags”, explained to participants the difficulties that SMEs are facing when they do businesses across the EU. He highlighted the fact that sometimes it would be easier for small online businesses to refuse to sell to certain EU countries (geoblocking) to save time in dealing with VAT related issues.
Jerónimo Payan, Head of Taxes for Europe Operations at TELEFÓNICA, presented tax related issues that big corporations in Europe have to deal with today. He noted that there is a need for harmonized taxation rules in Europe as well as a common set of rules for online and offline companies.
Egon Veermäe, Deputy Director General of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board, presented the vision of taxation rules in Estonia. Mr Veermäe explained how Estonia is going towards a declaration free business environment.
EIF asked our panelists how important is it to address tax issues at the European level?