On December 11, 2017 the European Commission released Code of Conduct on Withholding Tax to help Member States reduce costs and simplify procedures for cross-border investors in the EU. According to the European Commission the recommendations included in the Code of Conduct should improve the system for investors and Member States alike. In particular, the Code of Conduct aims to reduce the challenges faced by smaller investors when doing business cross-border. The recommendations should result in quick, simplified and standardized procedures for refunding withholding taxes where appropriate.


The code is a non-binding document which calls for voluntary commitments by Member States and should be considered as a compilation of approaches to improve the efficiency of current withholding tax (WHT) procedures, in particular for refunds of WHT to which Member States can add or adapt elements to meet national needs or contexts.


This code provides a set of pragmatic approaches to improve the efficiency of current WHT procedures in particular for refunds, but also including procedures for relief at source. The Code of Conduct contains a.o. pragmatic approaches with respect to the following topics:

·   Entitlement to submit refund claims or apply for relief;

·   Efficient and user-friendly digital WHT procedures;

·   Efficient Internal IT Systems;

·   Effective reliefs and provision of refunds in a short period;

·   User-friendly forms;

·   User-friendly documentation requirements;

·   Set up a single point of contact; and

·   Relief at source.


Click here to be forwarded to Code of Conduct on Withholding Tax as released by the European Commission on December 11, 2017.



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