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UK Commits Dependent Territories Over Savings Tax

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

05 December 2002


Despite firm, if polite, resistance to the European Union's Savings Tax Directive on the part of the UK's dependent territories, the United Kingdom appeared set on strong-arming the countries into agreement at Tuesday's Ecofin meeting of EU Finance Ministers.

As the debate fell into disarray, with Luxembourg, Belgium and Austria renewing calls for Switzerland to agree to automatic information exchange or nothing, and the UK retreating from its hardline position somewhat, questions were raised as to the status of Britain's dependent territories.

Although the Caribbean territories have recently united to express their opposition to the plan, and have pledged to challenge an Order of Court if one is issued, Chancellor Gordon Brown gave the European Council meeting his 'unequivocal assurance' that automatic information exchange will be introduced in the Caribbean territories.

'If necessary, we will legislate directly,' he threatened.

A comprehensive report on various international initiatives, including the EU's Savings Tax Directive is available in the Tax News Reports Shop at http://www.tax-news.com/reportshop/

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