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TEI European chapter meets in Brussels to discuss intangible property issues.

TEI's European Chapter kicked off its first meeting of the 2004-2005 year with a two-day program held at the Toyota Conference Center in Brussels on October 7 and 8, 2004. The meeting was hosted by Daniel Broekhuizen and Ilonka Burmann of Toyota Motor Marketing Europe. The meeting venue included an impressive display of the car-maker's products, including an original Formula 1 race car.

Chapter President Fabio DeAngelis, then of Nestle Foods Corporation, welcomed the participants and explained the format for the program, noting that the first day usually included a sharing of members' experiences with tax issues throughout the European community. The second day focused on the "practitioner's view" of selected topics. The Chapter has added indirect taxes as an integral part of the all-day technical sessions.

Feedback from the EU Commission

During the first day, Werner Blockmans of the European Commission's Directorate General--Taxation & Customs Policy provided valuable insight on the Commission's work in respect of VAT issues. Discussing the complex process for enacting VAT legislation, Mr. Blockmans walked participants through the draft directive on the simplification of VAT obligations, including a "one-stop system" for 8th Directive refunds, the "clean-up" of the limitations to the right of deduction, and the extension of the reverse-charge mechanism. (TEI filed comments on the one-stop system on July 31, 2004.)

Mr. Blockmans also noted that December 2003 proposal on B2B services will be discussed by the Finance Ministers later this year and that several matters are currently on hold (e.g., VAT rates, Tour Operator Regimes, and Postal Services). He added that the Commission is working on a recast of the 6th Directive.

Member Presentations

The first day also included several presentations by Chapter members. Juan Carlos Tena of General Motors Europe A.G. teamed with Tony McClenaghan of Deloitte & Touche to discuss GM's outsourcing of its VAT compliance to the accounting firm. Mr. Broekhuizen added to his hosting duties by discussing transfer pricing issues and a transfer pricing survey he has initiated among Chapter members. The results of the survey will be posted on the Chapter's website.

Other topics discussed the first day were the introduction to the Chapter's new website and a proposed TEI submission on the OECD's discussion draft on the attribution of profits to a permanent establishment. (The Institute's submission was filed on October 12, 2004.)

During the traditional roundtable discussion, the participants raised numerous issues, including--

* The tax authorities' approaches to commission agents;

* Loans in yen to a German affiliate;

* Anti-discrimination cases in the European Court of Justice;

* Permanent establishment in Spain;

* UK separate trade rules;

* Exit tax in Germany in implementing a commissionaire structure;

* Sarbanes Oxley documentation for VAT purposes;

* French Thin Capitalization Rules and advance pricing agreements;

* Non deductibility of start-up costs in China;

* Contract manufacturing;

* Global outsourcing of IP services;

* Harmonization of transfer pricing rules and documentation; and

* Deductibility of stock option costs.

Technical Sessions on IP Issues

The second day of the meeting was dedicated to legal and tax issues surrounding the development, ownership, transfer and license of intangible property (IP). Speakers for the technical sessions practice in the law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery.

Larry Cohen introduced the subject by discussing relevant legal aspects of IP for the tax practitioner. Fred Chilton then led a panel of tax experts from several European countries in discussions of the definition of IP and other issues. Peter Nias from MWE UK; Bruno Gouthiere from Bureau Francis Lefebvre France; Dirk Pohl from MWE Germany; and Gilberto Comi from MWE Italy, participated in the panel. In the afternoon, the panel was complemented by Henri Torrione from Lenz & Staehelin of Switzerland and Teun Akkerman from Loyens & Loeff of Luxembourg,

Member presentations were made by Mr. DeAngelis; Anne Guimond of Richemont International SA, and Paul Morton from the Royal Dutch/Shell Group.

The next meeting of the Chapter will be held in February in London.
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Title Annotation:Tax Executives Institute
Publication:Tax Executive
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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