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16 March 2015

EBF: Expert group recommends soft landing for tax information exchange

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The EBF draws attention to publication of the first report of the European Commission’s Expert Group on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information for Direct Taxation Purposes. The report recommends that governments start exchanging information with a soft landing period of two years.

The expert group report provides governments with 11 recommendations on the implementation of the Directive 2014/107/EU as regards to mandatory automatic exchange of information (AEOI) in the field of taxation. This measure will effectively put an end to banking secrecy and tax evasion in an international context.

The expert group report recommends the adoption of a soft-landing period of two years during which financial institutions and tax administrations would dialogue and seek to reach a fully operational system.

Banks are making significant investments in system upgrades and in adapting internal processes.

The report of the expert group emphasizes that the CRS Commentary developed by the OECD is not sufficient in terms of guidance. Member States are urged to adopt legislation and to issue detailed guidance well ahead of the 1 January 2016 deadline in order to ease compliance by financial institutions which need an 18-month lead-time to upgrade their systems.

The AEOI directive - aligned on an OECD Model that is known as the ‘Common Reporting Standard’, or CRS - is designed as an EU measure to fight tax evasion. It will require banks to systematically report information on their non-resident customers. It will enter into force on 1 January 2016, with the first exchange of information foreseen for 2017.

Press release

Full report


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