On 11 December, the European Commission published a voluntary code of conduct on withholding tax procedures which is aimed at reducing costs and simplifying procedures for cross-border investors.
The code of conduct makes eight recommendations:
- Allow non-residents to claim relief from withholding directly, rather than through a resident fiscal agent.
- Allow digital claims for refunds of withholding tax.
- Greater use of IT to process reclaims/refunds, including relief at source.
- 6 month time limit on reclaims.
- Clear and comprehensive documentation available online.
- Single point of contact for withholding tax.
- Providing relief at source, where appropriate.
The code of conduct seeks a voluntary commitment from each member state to adopt the eight principles by 2019.