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Combating tax evasion: Council agrees to extend automatic exchange of information
Padoan: ” A major step towards greater transparency marking the end of bank secrecy in tax matters in the EU”

The Council agreed today1 on a draft directive extending the scope for the mandatory automatic exchange of information between tax administrations, enabling them to better combat tax evasion and to improve the efficiency of tax collection.

The proposal brings interest, dividends and other income, as well as account balances and sales proceeds from financial assets, within the scope of the automatic exchange of information. It thus amends directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of direct taxation.

“Today we took a major step towards greater transparency marking the end of bank secrecy in tax matters in the European Union", said Pier Carlo Padoan, minister of economy and finance of Italy and president of the Council. "We decided to implement within the EU the new global standard on

automatic exchange of information developed by the OECD and endorsed by the G20. This shows the EU is still at the forefront of the fight against cross-border tax fraud and evasion, for the benefit of all citizens.”

Directive 2011/16/EU already provides a framework for mutual assistance between the member states, enabling them to better assess taxes due. It sets out the details to be specified in requests for information on taxpayers, and prevents requests from being refused on grounds of bank

secrecy. The directive provides for the mandatory automatic exchange of information on certain categories of income held by taxpayers in member states other than their state of residence. It sets out a step-by-step approach for extending this provision to new categories of income and capital.

Last update: 14 October 2014