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Guest Lecture: Malcolm GammieEuropean corporate and capital tax reform

Page updated 20 Sep 2007

Abstract from Malcolm Gammie's Guest Lecture presented at the Treasury on 30 May 2006.

Malcolm Gammie

Leiden University and London School of Economics

Malcolm trained as a solicitor and worked initially at Linklaters & Paines. After a short period engaged in tax policy work at the Confederation of British Industry, he became Director of the National Tax Office and then Director of National Tax Services at KMG Thomson McLintock (now KPMG). In 1985 he returned to Linklaters to become a tax partner until he eventually moved to the Revenue Bar in 1997. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2002.

He represents both taxpayers and HM Revenue and Customs in court and advises on most aspects of UK, European and international tax. Malcolm also sits as a deputy Special Commissioner and VAT & Duties Tribunal Chairman. In the former capacity he decided the Marks & Spencer case (EU cross-border loss relief) at first instance and has referred the Cadbury Schweppes case (CFCs) to the European Court of Justice.

Malcolm has had a close involvement in tax policy work at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and is currently Research Director of its Tax Law Review Committee. He has been involved in EC tax policy work since the 1980s. In 1998 he was appointed Unilever Professor of International Business Law at Leiden University in The Netherlands, with specific responsibility for considering the taxation of the European Company. His proposal for “Home State Taxation” forms the basis of the European Commission’s recommendation for SMEs. He has chaired several working parties on European corporation tax at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.

Malcolm continues to teach at Leiden University and at the London School of Economics and is Greenwood & Freehills visiting professor of UK international tax law at Sydney University Law School. He has written and lectured on many tax subjects and has also served in a variety of positions within the tax profession, including that of President of the Chartered Institute of Taxation in 1993-94. He was awarded his CBE in 2005 for his contribution to tax policy work.

Abstract

The integration of business activities, savings and investment within Europe is placing increasing strain on the Member States’ systems of company and capital taxation. The EC Treaty guarantees the free movement of capital, business activities and persons within the single market and the European Court of Justice has been increasingly active in enforcing these Treaty freedoms in the direct tax field.

The European Commission is currently pursuing options for a comprehensive solution to the issues of corporate taxation in Europe. As with all its initiatives in this area, however, the question is whether Member States can ever agree on proposals and within what time frame? Meanwhile, Member States have been reacting unilaterally by modifying their tax systems to meet the pressures of both the market and the Court. Underlying their reforms is the issue of whether, without co-ordination, Member States can continue to tax corporate and capital income on the current basis and, if not, on what basis?

The speaker will review the issues facing Member States in the light of current developments in the UK and elsewhere in the EU.

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