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Movement of Persons and Tax Mobility in the EU: Changing Winds – Review 1

Movement of Persons and Tax Mobility in the EU: Changing Winds, by Ana Paula Dourado, Guglielmo Maisto, Yariv Brauner et al. (IBFD 2014).

Reviewed by Christiana HJI Panayi, British Tax Review B.T.R. 3 (2016), pp. 367-368.


Movement of Persons and Tax Mobility in the EU: Changing WindsThis book was edited following another great conference of GREIT (the Group for Research in European and International Taxation) which was held in Lisbon in 2011. The book contains an updated and revised version of the reports presented at the conference, with some additional material.

The book examines an important and evolving area of law: tax mobility in the EU. It reviews general mobility of persons in the EU and the remaining obstacles to this mobility, including tax obstacles, and progress up to 2013. Mobility in the EU is discussed from the viewpoint of company law, international private law, insolvency law, EU law, public finance and tax law. The book examines the contradiction in the process of EU integration and how the financial crisis in 2008 and the subsequent euro crisis in the European and Monetary Union have brought new challenges to the EU and to the role it plays in the world.

The book is divided into six parts and comprises of 17 chapters. The first part discusses the current trends and challenges for tax mobility in the EU. The chapters in this part, written by the editor, Ana Paula Dourado, and Frans Vanistendael are very interesting. The writers look at tax competition and the emergence (at the time) of the Base Erosion and Profits Shifting (BEPS) project, the deficit of EU tax governance and tax issues relating to the European Monetary Union. The chapters in the second part of the book focus on the transfer of corporate residence. There is an examination of tax mobility within the insolvency framework a topic not often considered by EU tax lawyers. The chapters in the third part of the book focus on the more traditional topics pertaining to exit taxes. Part 4 reviews the impact of the Merger Directives on corporate mobility and the difficulties of balancing liberalisation of cross-border mergers and countering tax avoidance. The Dutch viewpoint on these issues is addressed in Chapter 11 of this part. Part 5 deals briefly with workers’ mobility with a chapter on the EU citizenship rights, social security and taxation of frontier workers. Part 6 focuses on the taxation of groups and the policy options for the world and the EU. There is an excellent discussion on the possible effect of the proposed Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) Directive1 on the EU tax budget and a comparison between formulary taxation and transfer pricing. The final chapter of this book examines the apportionment mechanism of the proposed CCCTB in light of the experience from the US.

Overall, this book provides a good analysis of some of the important issues relating to tax mobility up to the launch of the BEPS project. Much of the analysis is still relevant today though, as predicted, BEPS has played a major role and the discussion has now moved to double non-taxation rather than double taxation. What is refreshing about the book is that it challenges the reader to assess the EU project by looking at it from various interrelated angles, as it was back then in the pre-BEPS era and how it has since developed.


Christiana HJI Panayi*





*Senior Lecturer in Tax Law, Queen Mary, University of London, Centre for Commercial Law Studies and researcher at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.


1European Commission, Proposal for a Council Directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base, COM(2011) 121/4.