McDonald’s Fiscal State Aid Clearance: Questions Still Pending

Piergiorgio Valente - Following three years of investigation, McDonald’s has been cleared from the charge that it received fiscal state aid from Luxembourg, by virtue of the European Commission’s concluding decision of 19 September 2018. Thus, the Commission seems to have closed one of the various fronts opened in the fiscal state aid area in the last five years, including cases like Apple, Starbucks and Engie. Yet, the war is much ampler and critical questions remain still pending.

Competitive Taxation and Tax Competition: The Winner Takes it All

Piergiorgio Valente - What makes a tax system competitive? How can countries multiply the competitiveness of the existing system? These question-marks are attracting substantial research by today’s policy makers, at national and international level as well as by business lobbyists. Most importantly, their potential replies entail significant impact for taxpayers and the society in general.

The Italian Web Tax from a National and International Perspective

Piergiorgio Valente - To ensure taxation of digital business profits, Italy has introduced a web tax on digital transactions relating to a supply of services, sparking debate both domestically and internationally, since proposals are expected from the OECD and the European Union for coordinated solutions to the issue. This article provides an overview of questions that the Italian web tax has generated, concluding that Italy’s actions have set off alarm bells that should promote prompt cooperation internationally.

Taxless Corporate Income: Balance against White Income, Grey Rules and Black Holes

Piergiorgio Valente - The potential of globalization and digitization is clearly manifested in international taxation, currently undergoing a complete overhaul. A key factor driving the transformation is “stateless income”. Although this term is extensively used, its meaning is ambiguous. It might be said to comprise flexible income earned by multinationals or simple taxpayers through virtual or cyber transactions. Primary liability for its creation seems to lie with state legislators, who should hence act to remedy the situation.

The Data Economy: On Evaluation and Taxation

Piergiorgio Valente - While data-centred business models are claiming an ever-growing share of worldwide revenue, regulatory efforts to identify proper tax rules for the relevant activities are intensifying. It is questionable whether or not the proposals currently on the table capture the distinctive features of the data economy. The formulation of appropriate tax rules requires a thorough understanding of the mechanics of data processing activities and due consideration of the difference between information, which is an intangible asset, and tangible assets.

Geotaxation and the Digital: Janus in the Mirror

Piergiorgio Valente - Geopolitics has been defined as ‘great power competition over access to strategic locations and natural resources’. In essence, it focuses on the impact of geography on international political relations and vice versa.

Bitcoin and Virtual Currencies Are Real: Are Regulators Still Virtual?

Piergiorgio Valente - It is already ten years that the bitcoin is on the market; and twenty years from the primary conception by Wei Dan of a currency exploiting cryptography. Yet, only today is the bitcoin on the main headlines of daily newspapers and TV newscasts all around the world and its value fluctuations closely monitored on a number of websites. If a couple of years ago virtual currencies were a topic for policy-making elites, nowadays they have reached all classes, irrespective of profession and interests.

A European Taxpayers’ Code

Piergiorgio Valente - The European Commission published ‘Guidelines for a Model for A European Taxpayer’s Code’. The Guidelines seek to clarify taxpayers’ fundamental rights and obligations in the EU while proposing best practices for their enhancement. The European initiative follows several international ones to the same end. Their comparison reveals the Guidelines’ rather restricted scope. Although they constitute a step forward, they fall short of their potential, demanding further steps to ensure due protection of taxpayers’ rights.

G7 Priorities in Taxation

Piergiorgio Valente - The international tax framework is being overhauled to keep pace with a business environment transformed by the globalization’s and digitalization’s forces. This transition period is a challenge and an opportunity. Fiscal policy is a priority worldwide and key concern in this year’s G7 Summit. The 10 Key Priorities in this area were presented in a special Forum held under the auspices of the Italian G7 Presidency to give voice to Academia and Research. Inherent ultimate purpose of sound fiscal policy is the achievement of sustainable economic growth and widespread prosperity in a system worthy of people’s trust.