So far, 11 European Union (EU) member states are moving rapidly towards agreement on the introduction of a financial transaction tax (FTT), which is likely to start in January 2014.
Now is the time for action. By the end of December we should have an idea of what the FTT will look like and, importantly, who will be the recipient of the taxes raised.
Although fiscal measures normally require unanimity, a new legal procedure called Enhanced Cooperation is being used for the first time to introduce a fiscal measure. This means that a smaller number of states can vote for taxation measures that will apply in these states only.
For the financial services (FS) community, this really is the time to make its voice heard to try to make the eventual shape of the FTT more sensible. In the Netherlands, for example, Dutch pension funds have managed to get the government to indicate its interest in the FTT but subject to an exemption for Dutch pension funds.
This Global FS tax newsflash provides more details.