23rd January 2015

France and Austria propose new FTT compromise

After failing to reach an agreement before the deadline of 31 December 2014 on the financial transaction tax (FTT), the ministers of the 11 countries planning to create such a tax are no close to reaching it than half a year ago. Compromises proposed by the Italian presidency failed to reach support. Now, French and Austrian finance ministers addressed a letter to their counterparts in the remaining 9 countries proposing a new start. The ministers cannot agree on the exact scope of the tax, as well as on its concrete rate. Some propose a more limited tax, some would see a wide-range measure. Agreement was not reached on the principle of taxation either – the transactions could be taxed based on the asset´s country of origin or based on the place where the transaction was made. France and Austria now try to push a solution for this. In very general terms, they propose to agree on the following principles – the FTT should cover as many transactions as possible, but its rate should be lower.

If adopted, the tax would not bring large sums to the budgets of the participating states. Instead, it has been seen as a symbolic gesture. As it would not be enough to support the economic growth and employment, it was initially intended to be used for development aid, humanitarian crisis and so on. Now, France also proposes to divert the collected money to fighting climate change.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic