European Union financial transaction tax
The European Union financial transaction tax (EU FTT) is a proposal made by the European Commission to introduce a financial transaction tax (FTT) within some of the member states of the European Union initially by 1 January 2014, later postponed to 1 January 2016. The tax would impact financial transactions between financial institutions charging 0.1% against the exchange of shares and bonds and 0.01% across derivative contracts, if just one of the financial institutions resides in a member state of the EU FTT.One of the flaws in the tax as proposed is its insensitivity to the economics and dynamics of the time characteristics of money market and fixed interest trades. The application, as proposed, of applying the same flat rate tax on the market value of a transaction, be it for one week or fifty years, to fixed interest bills or bonds, will fatally compromise monetary policy transmission mechanisms.To avoid an unwanted negative impact on the real economy, the FTT will not apply to: Day-to-day financial activities of citizens and businesses (e.g. loans, payments, insurance, deposits etc.). Investment banking activities in the context of raising capital. Transactions carried out as part of restructuring operations. Refinancing transactions with central banks and the ECB, with the EFSF and the ESM, and transactions with EU.The proposed EU financial transaction tax would be separate from a bank levy, or a resolution levy, which some governments are also proposing to impose on banks to insure them against the costs of any future bailouts. The tax that could raise 57 billion Euros per year if implemented across the entire EU was however a controversial topic for the EU member states to agree upon ever since it was first time debated in June 2010. In October 2012, after discussions had failed to establish unanimous support for an EU-wide FTT, the European Commission proposed that the use of enhanced co-operation should be permitted to implement the tax in the states which wished to participate. This framework proposal, supported by 11 EU member states, was approved in the European Parliament in December 2012, and by the Council of the European Union in January 2013.On 14 February 2013, the European Commission put forward a revised proposal outlining the details of the FTT to be enacted under enhanced co-operation, which was only slightly different from its initial proposal in September 2011. The proposal was approved by the European Parliament in July 2013, and must now be unanimously approved by the 11 initial participating states before coming into force. The legal service of the Council of the European Union concluded in September 2013 that the European Commission's proposal would not tax ""systemic risk"" activities but only healthy activities, and that it was incompatible with the EU treaty on several grounds while also being illegal because of ""exceeding member states' jurisdiction for taxation under the norms of international customary law"". The Financial Transaction Tax can no longer be blocked by the Council of the European Union on legal grounds, but each individual EU member state is still entitled to launch legal complaints against the FTT if approved to the European Court of Justice, potentially annulling the scheme. On 6 May 2014, ten out of the initial eleven participating member states (all except Slovenia) agreed to seek a ""progressive"" tax on equities and ""some derivatives"" by 1 January 2016, and aimed for a final agreement on the details to be negotiated and unanimously agreed upon later in 2014.