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Taxation of Cross-Border Philanthropy in Europe after Persche and Stauffer : From Landlock to Free Movement?

by Thomas von Hippel

Jun 1, 2014

Study that calls for less red-tape and non-discriminatory tax treatment for donors and philanthropic organisations throughout the European Member States. It examines the different ways that European Member States approach the question of comparability of foreign and domestic charitable organisations and the administrative procedures that charities and donors must follow in order to receive the tax incentives due to them. Even where Member States have amended their laws to ensure formal compliance with the European non-discrimination principle, a number of procedural hurdles still exist. Charities and donors often face long procedures, uncertainty and substantial costs for administrative and translation fees, legal advice and proceedings in national or European courts. The study proposes practical and policy solutions to improve the way that the non-discrimination principle is implemented. These include the use of model statutes, the conclusion of multi- or bilateral tax treaties, and the establishment of a set of common core principles as the basis for determining comparability. The study draws on country reports prepared for each of the 28 countries surveyed. The reports provide detailed practical information for donors and public-benefit organisations facing cross-border situations and can be found at