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Wolfgang Speckhahn Final Thesis combined.pdf (3.15 MB)

Real estate investment trusts (REITS) in Europe - Europeanizing tax regimes

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:10 authored by Wolfgang Speckhahn
The research investigated the impact of EU law and policies on direct taxation in REITs, and movement towards a harmonised EU-REIT with common direct taxation of REITs profits. It represents the first comparative study of EU member state REIT regimes to identify an emerging common understanding informed by European jurisprudence and Europeanization policy and theory. After identifying the fundamental elements of a REIT (following the original US model) within a context of Europeanization theory, the research examined EU policy mechanisms (such as goodness of fit and adaptational soft pressure) and the impact of relevant case law from the European Court of Justice. It then presented in-depth case studies of three member states: France (example of a well-established REIT regime), Bulgaria (a new accession state) and Spain (a recent REIT regime). The research found an emerging common understanding between member states’ REIT regimes, offering the prospect of a European harmonised REIT form distinguishable from the US model. It also found negative approaches to direct taxation in cross-border situations, and member state concerns about loss of sovereignty and tax base, which should be recognised within any harmonised direct tax regime. The research can claim to be the first comparative analysis of MS REIT regimes to address a common understanding, and thus is relevant to practitioners and academics in the fields of European law and international taxation. It has potential to contribute towards an improved common direct taxation approach and the harmonisation of European REITs within the wider processes of Europeanization. The research was limited to REIT regimes in EU member states, and further research could analyse relevant member state tax regimes outside the 'common understanding' REIT model, and further explores issues of loss of sovereignty and tax base in member states.



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