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Alternative Market Briefing

The new EU Financial Transaction Tax: why it seems set to impact financial institutions worldwide, and why legal challenges are likely

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: As Opalesque first reported yesterday, the European Commission, the EU's executive arm has resolved to use the "enhanced cooperation procedure" to implement an EU financial transaction tax (FTT) across France, Germany, and the nine other EU Member States that wish to do so. The resolution will make it easier for the European Commission to tax within the EU and also extra-territorially, in other countries including the UK, US and Asia.

Law firm Clifford Chance has authored a legal brief outlining some of the early conclusions from this resolution. Specifically, that most equity, debt and derivative transactions in these jurisdictions will be subject to the tax – from as early as 2014. The brief also looks at some provisions which may be vulnerable to legal challenge.

The current version of the FTT represents a slight shift away from the original plan which was to implement the tax across the whole of the European Commission. However, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Malta and the United Kingdom abstained. As such there is now an "FTT Zone" group of countries which will levy the tax inside the zone and abroad. The Commission is expected to release a formal proposal in the......................

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