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Today’s Top Headlines

Luxembourg Is Not A Tax Haven, Asselborn Insists

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

07 February 2014

Luxembourg's Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn has vehemently rejected claims that the Grand Duchy is a tax haven, a jurisdiction deemed uncooperative in tax matters, merely "profiting" fiscally from other countries.

Reiterating that the Luxembourg Government has taken a "very clear position," namely that the Grand Duchy will transfer to an automatic exchange of information (AEI) for savings from January 1, 2015, Asselborn insisted that it simply can not be said that Luxembourg is blocking the European Savings Tax Directive.

Luxembourg is still negotiating on plans to extend the scope of the Directive, however, Asselborn conceded. Here, the Government wants the European Commission to discuss and negotiate with Switzerland, and with several other countries, to ensure "coherence," he added.

Luxembourg aims to guarantee coherence in all these areas, not just at European Union (EU) level, but at OECD level, and with all countries, including Singapore and Hong Kong, the Minister continued.

During a recent meeting in London with his British counterpart, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, Luxembourg's Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna underlined the need to await the European Commission's report, updating on the progress of negotiations with Switzerland and other countries. The report is due to be presented to the European Council in March 2014.

The discussions between Osborne and Gramegna also focused on the issue of a financial transactions tax, as well as on the problem of base erosion and profit shifting. On all these subjects, Luxembourg's Finance Minister Gramegna emphasized the importance of efforts at EU and OECD level resulting in "coherent international standards, applicable at global level."

TAGS: compliance | Finance | tax | European Commission | tax compliance | tax avoidance | Luxembourg | Singapore | transfer pricing | Hong Kong | Switzerland | standards | individual income tax | Europe | Tax | Tax Evasion

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