September 12, 2015
European Union efforts to build a financial-transactions tax among 11 nations pressed on in a bid to break a deadlock over what to tax and at what rate.
“Important advances were made” at a meeting among participating nations on Saturday in Luxembourg, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told reporters. He said France continues to push for a wide base and a low rate for the trading levies.
Sapin said ministers agreed to tax gross trades rather than net transactions, which would include high frequency trading. He said the only derivatives exceptions would be those related to sovereign debt sales, and that the tax should be designed so that firms can’t evade levies by relocating.
“We’ve agreed on certain principles and we’ll be able to make more important decisions in October,” Sapin said. “That doesn’t mean we’ve decided all the details or that the financial transaction tax will start in October, but a certain threshold has been passed.”
Sapin said it will take nine months to implement the deal once it’s agreed, and France would like proceeds spent on developing country projects linked to climate change. He declined to estimate how much the tax would raise, saying a goal is to slow financial markets.
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