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Luxembourg PM 'Astonished' at EU Tax Break List

Tax-news.com

15 November 1999


The Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker last week said he was 'astonished' at the EU Working Group on Corporate Tax Breaks' latest culling of its list of 'unfair and harmful schemes'. The Working Group has reduced its list of tax schemes 'deemed unfair and harmful to competition' from 250 to just 60.

The Luxembourg Prime Minister told journalists that there are still a large number of technical and political issues that have not been addressed, and he is not optimistic that a compromise can be reached on tax harmonisation at next month's EU summit in Helsinki.

The most obvious of these issues is Luxembourg's opposition to the proposed 20 per cent EU withholding tax and the European Commission's proposed code of conduct against unfair business incentive schemes. Luxembourg has maintained that it will accept a 10 per cent withholding tax on non-resident accounts, but only if this is coupled in the Code Of Conduct with the abolition of corporate tax incentives.

Perhaps surprisingly, Luxembourg's 'SOPARFI' Holding Companies were on neither the original list nor the most recent cut-down 'final' list.

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