ATA Directive: Some Observations regarding formal Aspects
In this article the authors analyse to what extent the objectives of the Council of the European Union (EU) and the EU Commission are effectively realized through the ATA Directive. Authors believe that the choice for a Directive is likely not the most effective, while for a substantial period potentially resulting in legal uncertainty regarding the scope of the Directive’s terminology and provisions. The relationship with existing international (tax) treaty obligations is complex as well as with existing income tax Directives. Moreover, the choice for a Directive puts the tax authorities – who have the primary initiative in applying its provisions – in a relative weaker position since under EU law they cannot unlike taxpayers directly apply the Directive’s provisions. Finally, it can be questioned where local tax authorities have the initiative, whether the EU Commission review and monitoring process will be sufficient to safeguard a consistent application of the Directive’s provisions within the EU, creating a level playing field. In view of this, authors conclude that a Regulation or alternatively a peer review mechanism may result in less legal uncertainty and a more effective mechanism to realize the Council of the EU and the EU Commission’s objectives.