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Austria Agrees Support For New EU Savings Tax Directive

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

14 March 2014


Austrian Vice Chancellor Michael Spindelegger has confirmed Austria's support for the revised European Union Savings Tax Directive, indicating that it will likely be adopted by the end of March.

The aim of the new Directive is to close loopholes and prevent individuals from evading taxation on interest income by enhancing the existing automatic information exchange system for EU tax authorities.

Austria made its adoption of the text conditional. The Government said from the outset that it would not relinquish its banking secrecy for Austrian nationals, but will agree to exchange information automatically concerning EU residents with accounts held in Austria. It also said that third states such as Switzerland and Liechtenstein must participate in the Directive, and warned against a European and a global standard operating in tandem.

The EU Council of Economic and Finance Ministers agreed at a recent meeting in Brussels that banking secrecy could remain in place for Austrian nationals. Furthermore, the Council noted that an agreement on a global AEI standard is expected in the summer, thereby guaranteeing a level playing field and ensuring that only one system applies.

TAGS: individuals | compliance | Finance | tax | tax compliance | tax avoidance | interest | banking | Liechtenstein | banking secrecy | Austria | Switzerland | individual income tax | European Union (EU) | Europe | Tax | Tax Evasion

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