Following their adoption and publication in draft form by the European Commission last June, two new EU Taxonomy delegated acts were published in the Official Journal on 21 November, and will apply from January 2024. They confirm new and amended technical screening criteria (TSCs) in relation to the environmental objectives in the Taxonomy Regulation. This is a significant build-out in the application of the Taxonomy Regulation given that for an economic activity to be taxonomy-aligned, it must:Read More
On 14 September, the European Commission launched both a public consultation and a targeted consultation on the implementation of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
The Commission aims to understand how the SFDR has been implemented since its initial application in March 2021, as well as to gain an understanding of its potential deficiencies, and to explore potential improvements of the European framework for sustainable finance. These consultations form part of the Commission’s comprehensive assessment of the SFDR framework that was first announced by Commissioner Mairéad McGuinness in December 2022. While the public consultation is addressed to a wide range of individuals and organisations with a general knowledge of the SFDR, the targeted consultation is aimed at financial market participants (FMPs), investors, NGOs, public authorities, regulators, and others that are either subject to the provisions of the SFDR or otherwise have an in-depth knowledge or experience in the area of sustainable finance disclosures.Read More
On 12 April 2023, the German Ministry of Justice (Bundesministerium der Justiz) published a legislative proposal which would broaden the eligible assets for German open-ended real estate funds to include certain renewable energy assets. The proposal mentions both facilities for the generation, transport and storage of electricity, gas or heat from renewable energy sources, and charging stations for electric vehicles and bikes. The proposed rules would, for the first time, allow investment in facilities which are on open land and not directly connected with a building held by the fund. The new rules may also have an impact on non-German real estate funds available to certain German investors. For example, German pension schemes may require that non-German real estate funds share certain features with similar German funds.
In a recent decision of 14 February 2023, the Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof, BFH), the highest German tax court, has ruled that privately held cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Monero (XMR) are – notwithstanding the fact that there are no physical goods in which a traditional form of legal ownership can be established – taxable assets for German income tax purposes. As a consequence, any gains from their acquisition (against fiat currency or otherwise) and sale (or exchange) within a one-year period will be taxable (at the owner’s personal tax rate); if, however, the relevant cryptocurrency has been held for more than one year, any gains will be tax exempt. For these purposes, the holder of the “private key” will be considered as legal owner of the cryptocurrency. The tax treatment of a realization of an increase in value of cryptocurrencies is therefore, in Germany, substantially the same as for fiat currency.
By: Philipp Riedl
On 18 May 2022, the Rapporteur submitted to the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) a report suggesting changes to the EU Commission’s envisaged regulation of loan originating funds under its proposed AIFMD amendments (AIFMD II). The report includes some proposed relief, notably:Read More
By: Philipp Riedl
Revised guidance from the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) contains much-needed information on the extent to which affected firms should be anticipating detailed Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) that are not expected to be effective until 1 January 2023. The German regulator BaFin issued an accompanying statement on 30 March 2022. The key information is:Read More