EUROPE – European Commissioner, Fritz Bolkestein, has confirmed that he is unlikely to produce a directive on cross-border tax issues for pension funds, but that a communication on the subject will be issued within a fortnight.

Replying to a question from German social democrat member of the European parliament (MEP) Christa Randzio-Plath, Bolkestein told the European parliament last night (Mon April 2) that removal of tax obstacles for EU cross-border pension schemes could be achieved by enforcing existing treaty rules and without resorting to secondary legislation.

Bolkestein added that a communication on eliminating tax obstacles would be adopted in two weeks time.

He did not go into any further details, other than to say that it should be possible for contributions made in another EU state to be deductible for tax purposes, adding that many countries currently give preference to nationally based schemes.