The European Union Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (EU-ATAD), which entered into force in August 2016, must be implemented into national law in the main by no later than 31 December 2018 and is to be generally applied from 1 January 2019 onwards. As a result, possible changes have been under discussion for some time, and a substantial reform of the German CFC-rules is being planned. No draft for new CFC-regulations has been published officially yet, but it is being keenly anticipated.
In May 2017, the Council of the European Union further adopted a directive amending the EU-ATAD (ATAD II). The member states must transpose ATAD II into national law by 31 December 2019 and apply it generally from 1 January 2020 onwards. To date, the legislative procedure for the implementation of these rules into national law has not yet begun in Germany.
In May 2018, an EU-directive on the mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation in relation to reportable cross-border arrangements (DAC 6) was introduced. Although not yet transposed into German law, taxpayers and intermediaries have been required to monitor cross-border arrangements since 25 June 2018 and to prepare to report such arrangements to the financial authorities. The directive has to be transposed into national law by 31 December 2019. The regulation should become applicable from 1 July 2020 onwards. Various aspects of the rules set out in the directive as well as the question as to how Germany should transpose the directive into national law are currently under discussion in Germany. To date, the legislative procedure for the implementation into German law has not yet started.
In the context of the discussions in respect of the taxation of the digital economy, the German Federal Ministry of Finance together with the French Ministère de l’Economie et des Finances have presented plans for a Global Anti Base Erosion (GloBe) Project, which are intended to be discussed on an international level. In essence, it proposes the introduction of a world-wide minimum taxation (level playing field). Furthermore, in May 2019, the Federal Ministry of Finance published a draft for a bill containing, inter alia, a tightening of the rules for levying Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) in connection with share transfers. The proposed change in the rules has been a topic of discussion in Germany for some time.
Likewise, a draft bill for a research and development (R&D) subsidy and a draft for a reform of local property tax are under discussion.