IRIS Plus 2007-7: The Impact of EC Law on the Taxation of the European Audiovisual Industry
Author: Hasan Bermek, European Audiovisual Observatory
"Money makes the world go round" and taxing products and services is one way in which it can be raised. And yet states can also abstain from collecting taxes or indeed reduce tax burdens and thus leave the money in the pocket of companies and individuals.
How states organise their tax systems, to whom they grant tax exemptions and benefits and on whom they spend money from the tax-filled budget, is driven by specific policies such as the support of certain industries. Among them features the audiovisual industry, to which tax law is often benevolent because of the states' desire to promote national culture and to build up a forward-looking sector.
To the extent that tax related policies translate into national rules which influence the EC internal market, for example because they invite state protectionism, they collide with EC law. It is therefore not surprising that national tax law meets with the scrutiny of EC policy makers and triggers legislative action in Brussels.
If fiscal support policies concerning the audiovisual sector are to succeed, Europe's creative industry and competent policy makers need reliable information on the impact that EC law has on the taxation of the European audiovisual sector.
In this IRIS plus Hasan Bermek analyses a wide spectrum of tax issues relevant to the audiovisual sector and demonstrates the various ways in which these issues relate. His article is both a guide to the legal framework and a description of the areas which may still be regarded as requiring attention. It merits attentive and thorough reading!