The European crises as tax crises

Agustín J. Menéndez has published a chapter on the Europeanisation of national tax systems in a new book on EU law after the financial crisis.

The book is edited by Jessica Schmidt, Carlos Esplugues Mota and Rafael Arenas.

About the book

The financial crisis has literally stress tested the European Union and indeed continues to do so. It has already laid bare many fundamental issues and conundrums of the European Union and the European Union’s legal system that had been waiting to be seriously addressed for quite a number of years.

This book examines the consequences of the financial crisis for European Union law – not only with respect to various specific areas of the law, namely contract law, company law, capital markets law, banking law, competition law, tax law, insolvency law, but also with respect to fundamental issues regarding the role and function of the European Union and European law.

The European crises as tax crises

Agustín J. Menéndez contributes with a chapter in part III of the book, which deals with the financial crisis and tax law. He argues that national tax systems have been deeply Europeanised since the very inception of the European Communities. First, the power to tax cannot be reduced to the power to collect taxes, he claims. 'While the EU collects very few taxes which raise very modest revenue, not only does European constitutional law (the four economic fundamental freedoms) shape (and distort) the form and structure of national tax systems and of all national taxes, but the very definition of the bases and even of the rates of many taxes (notably VAT) have been deeply Europeanised.' Second, the abandonment of the original pattern of Europeanisation of national tax systems in the early 1980s did not mean that taxes remained a national issue. On the contrary, the Europeanisation of national tax systems gained speed - however by different means. 'National taxes were homogenised by the pressure exerted by economic actors making use of their revamped economic freedoms to challenge, one after the other, national tax laws that were said to create obstacles to the exercise of their economic freedoms. This shift fostered the financial, fiscal and macroeconomic weaknesses that became open crises in 2007.'

Full info

The European crises as tax crises
Agustín José Menéndez

In: EU Law after the Financial Crisis
Jessica Schmidt, Carlos Esplugues Mota and Rafael Arenas (eds)

Intersentia, 2016
ISBN: 9781780683423

Published May 9, 2016 10:43 AM