EU Lawmakers Pass Transactions Tax, National Vetoes Remain

Reuters

May 23, 2012 – By Laurence Norman

BRUSSELS (Dow Jones)–The European Parliament on Wednesday voted in favor of introducing a tax on financial trades across the 27-nation European Union, but many member countries, which have a veto on tax issues, remained opposed.

The legislation made a number of changes to the transactions tax proposal originally put forward by the European Commission, the EU’s executive. The Commission wanted a levy that could raise around EUR80 billion a year by 2020.

The parliament’s bill seeks to extend coverage of the transaction tax to non-EU traders who buy or sell European-originated securities. It also raises the incentive for member countries to adopt the tax by linking payment of the levy to legal ownership rights. If the buyer of a security does not pay the transactions tax, he or she “would not be legally certain” of owning the security, the parliament said in a press release.

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