EU Savings Tax Directive moves forwards

   0   0 Blog, Information Exchange

Update: new details about how the EC sees the EUSTD meshing with other initiatives.

We recently wrote that there were positive signs that the all-important Amendments to the European Union Savings Tax Directive was likely to be approved, in the face of long-standing intransigence by Luxembourg, Austria (and, outside the EU, Switzerland.)

Well, as the Financial Times reported on Friday:

“Luxembourg and Austria lifted their longstanding veto on a key EU law that will extensively bolster national governments’ ability to crackdown on tax cheats.”

This is very good news. As EU tax boss Algirdas Semeta notes:

“It is politically symbolic. An important anti-evasion file has been unblocked, after years of deadlock. This is proof of the widespread acceptance that the days of bank secrecy and tax intransparency are over.”

The existing EUSTD is full of holes, but the Amendments contain many powerful and innovative measures to crack down on the main ones. It will greatly expand the range of income that is to be taxed, and will make it much harder for people to use slippery structures such as discretionary trusts to escape.

The reforms have been blocked for six years, and the FT describes this as a “wrench” and a “huge shift in mentality” for Austria and Luxembourg to lift their veto. This is part of a sea change that has been transforming tax havens’ attitudes towards criminal and tax behaviour in recent years.

So how will the EUSTD mesh with other initiatives out there, such as the OECD’s proposed Common Reporting Standards? Well, the European Commission said:

“our approach is fully consistent with the global one. The two should blend seamlessly together, thereby avoiding disruptions for our businesses.”

In other words, the proposed OECD standard, in the EC’s view, will complement but not replace the EUSTD.

Semeta adds:

“We have made immense progress, and today is another milestone.

But it is not the last one.

For example, I expect swift agreement on the Administrative Cooperation Directive to cement the widest scope of automatic exchange between our Member States. It is another crucial instrument for the widest possible tax transparency in Europe.”


Related Posts

New estimates reveal the extent of tax avoidance by multinationals

Price Waterhouse CoopersNew figures published today by the Tax Justice Network provide a country-level breakdown of the estimated tax losses to profit shifting by multinational companies. Applying a methodology developed by researchers at the International Monetary Fund to an improved dataset, the results indicate global losses of around $500 billion a year. The figures appear in a […]

READ MORE →

Banking Secrecy in China, its related territories and Taiwan

Hong Kong from Sky 100Foreword. The Tax Justice Network is a non partisan network of experts working towards transparency, so we do not take any position about countries’ territorial and political claims. However, we do expect countries with a de jure (legal) or de facto (in practice) influence over other territories, to take responsibility for their power. We point […]

READ MORE →

Is tax avoidance at the heart of Ireland’s economic miracle?

AIB International Finance Centre Dublin - By Estoy Aquí (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia CommonsComing out of the economic crisis Ireland was one of the best performing economies, with GDP growth rates of 8.5% in 2014 and an extraordinary 26.3% in 2015. But how much of this economic activity was real, and how much a fiction created by Ireland’s tax haven status? A new paper by Heike Joebges of the University […]

READ MORE →

New Report: HMRC’s “Building our Future” programme

bigben-mcbigbenfaceYesterday the Tax Justice Network was in the UK Parliament to launch a report it co-produced with the Public and Commercial Services Union. The report, entitled “HMRC, Building an Uncertain Future” is a study of HMRC’s (the UK tax authority) reform plans which it is calling “Building our Future”. The report published yesterday analysed the […]

READ MORE →

Financial secrecy in football: time for action

bigben-mcbigbenfaceEveryone has known for years that football is rotten to the core and financial secrecy is at the heart of the problem. Why then is no one doing anything about it? This post from the Offshore Game project originally features in the Independent. 

READ MORE →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top