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Today’s Top Headlines

Šemeta Confident Of March Savings Tax Accord

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

26 February 2014

European Union Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta has confirmed that an agreement on plans to revise the European Union (EU) Savings Tax Directive is expected in March.

Furthermore, Tax Commissioner Šemeta expressed his conviction that the automatic exchange of information (AEI) for tax purposes will apply as the global standard from the beginning of 2016, and that an initial accord on an EU 11 financial transactions tax (FTT) will be in place in May.

In an interview with Wirtschaftsblatt, Šemeta explained that EU heads of state and government said back in December that a consensus on an extended EU Savings Tax Directive would be reached in March 2014.

Although agreements on EU law are not dependent on relations with third states, "very good progress" has so far been made with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino, and Monaco, he noted. The Commission will therefore present a "convincing report" to EU Finance Ministers at their next meeting in March, to assure Austria and Luxembourg that a level playing field will be established, thereby paving the way for the Directive's definitive adoption.

Moreover, Šemeta said that he is in "no doubt" that automatic information exchange will become the global standard in 2016. The Group of Twenty nations' (G20) Finance Ministers recently provided their support for the AEI mechanism, and the process is due to conclude definitively at the G20 summit in November, he pointed out. The revised EU Savings Tax Directive and Administrative Cooperation Directive foreshadow implementation of the new OECD AEI standard at international level, Šemeta explained.

Finally, Tax Commissioner Šemeta confirmed that, based on the latest Franco-German initiative, an initial agreement on an EU 11 FTT could be in place ahead of the EU elections in May.

Alluding to the fact that the EU 11 are in the final phase of negotiations, Šemeta underscored that the focus now is primarily on the technical implementation, which has to be clarified for all participating member states that intend to introduce the levy.

TAGS: compliance | Finance | tax | European Commission | tax compliance | tax avoidance | law | Liechtenstein | Luxembourg | Monaco | agreements | Austria | Switzerland | G20 | individual income tax | European Union (EU) | Andorra | San Marino | Europe | Tax | Tax Evasion

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