BETTER FINANCE supports the recent proposal put forth by the European Commission, aimed at simplifying the reimbursement of cross-border withholding taxes. Guillaume Prache, the Managing Director of BETTER FINANCE, expresses cautious optimism and states, “This proposal, which was swiftly introduced following a joint study conducted by BETTER FINANCE and DSW - Germany’s leading association for private investors and one of BETTER FINANCE’s member organisations - addresses the concerns highlighted in our research and shows promise in reducing the occurrence of dividend double taxation. We are particularly pleased that the Commission is giving Member States the option to implement relief procedures that prevent double taxation from the beginning."
“However,” Prache adds, “the proposal stipulates that refund procedures must be conducted through the banking chain. This requirement poses a significant obstacle for individual investors if fees are imposed by intermediaries.” Currently, shareholders who go through intermediaries for the refund process can expect to pay around EUR 100 or more per refund request. Often, this amount exceeds the actual tax refundable, especially for private investors. BETTER FINANCE emphasises the need for an exemption from the requirement to use intermediaries in cases where the tax amounts are below EUR 5000.
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