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Legitech | EU Commission releases proposal for a Council Directive on Shell Entities: what will be the impact on Luxembourg?

On 22 December 2021, the EU Commission released a proposal for a Council Directive laying down rules to prevent the misuse of shell entities for tax purposes. The initiative was triggered by the impression on the part of the Commission that legal entities with no or only minimal substance, performing no or very little economic activity, continue to pose a risk of being used for aggressive tax planning structures.

Substance was always an important topic in international taxation when entities perform cross-border investment and business activities. However, the awareness about substance has only increased throughout the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“BEPS”) Project that focused on substance and transparency as two central topics.

The OECD BEPS Project had a significant impact on the international tax landscape. In the EU, two EU Anti-tax Avoidance Directives (“ATAD” and “ATAD 2”) have been adopted that required EU Member States to implement a number of anti-abuse provisions. Moreover, bilateral tax treaties have been modified through the multilateral instrument (“MLI”) with a view to implement various anti-abuse provisions such as the principal purposes test. In addition, in order to increase transparency, a series of directives on administrative cooperation, the “DAC” series, were put in place. The latest, DAC 6 requires reporting of potentially aggressive transactions in corporate tax matters.

Hence, the tax authorities of EU Member States have already a comprehensive arsenal of anti-abuse rules that allow them to tackle any kind of abusive situation as well as reporting that should allow them to be aware of any residual abuse. As such, the questions arise if the proposed Directive could elevate existing substance requirements for EU entities to a higher level and what will be the impact on Luxembourg as a major fund location and a global hub for cross-border investment and business activities.

This conference aims at providing participants with a clear overview of the proposed reporting regime for shell entities. A presentation will be followed by a panel discussion during which Luxembourg officials and professionals from different areas will share their views on the topic. The focus of the conference will be on Alternative Investments (Private Equity, Real Estate, Infrastructure, etc.) and multinational groups in Luxembourg.


3:30 PM – 4:00 PM:        


4:00 PM – 5:00 PMOliver R. Hoor, Tax Partner, ATOZ Tax Advisers         

The proposed reporting regime for shell entities

  • Necessity and legal basis of the proposed Directive
    • Substance in international taxation
    • Existing anti-abuse and reporting obligations
    • Considering the legal basis of this initiative
  • Analysing the proposed reporting regime
  • Determination of shell entities (a series of tests)
    • Tax treatment of shell entities
    • Exchange of information
    • Penalties
    • Requests for tax audits
  • How to manage (reporting) obligations in practice
    • Practical case study                                

5:00 PM – 5:55 PM: Panel discussion  | Jean SCHAFFNER, Avocat, Head of Tax Department, ALLEN & OVERY - Alain STEICHEN, Managing Partner, BSP -  Co-editors in chief of the Revue de droit fiscal.

Anticipating the impact of the proposed reporting regime on Luxembourg.


  • Flora CASTELLANI, Conseillère de direction Fiscalité, UNION DES ENTREPRISES LUXEMBOURGEOISES
  • Carlo FASBINDER, Directeur de la fiscalité, Ministère des finances
  • Katarina KOSZEGHY, Juriste-fiscaliste au sein de la direction “Fiscalité”, ECOFIN
  • Serge SCHROEDER, Premier Conseiller à la Cour administrative

5:55 PM – 6 PM: Closing remarks


Alain Steichen est professeur-associé à l’Université du Luxembourg et auteur de multiples ouvrages sur le droit fiscal, droit comptable et droit des sociétés. En tant qu’avocat il pratique le droit fiscal des entreprises depuis plus de trente ans.

Serge Schroeder est actuellement 1er conseiller à la Cour administrative dont l’un des magistrats depuis l’année 2008. Après avoir débuté sa carrière en accomplissant son stage d’avocat dans une étude d’avocats locale et 3 années de travail comme juriste-fiscaliste auprès d’une banque de la place, il a rejoint les juridictions administratives dès leur création et était magistrat auprès du tribunal administratif de 1997 à 2007.

Georges Simon est spécialisé en droit fiscal international et conseille principalement des clients multinationaux dans le cadre d'opérations transfrontalières et de restructurations de groupes. Georges a également développé une forte pratique en matière de transactions immobilières et conseille régulièrement des entreprises et des fonds d'investissement luxembourgeois et internationaux en matière d'investissements immobiliers. Il dispose d'une expérience significative dans le domaine du contentieux fiscal, représentant les contribuables aux différents niveaux de la procédure fiscale.

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