EU: Savings tax directive is repealed, replaced by new standard

EU: Savings tax directive is repealed and replaced

The EU savings taxation directive (Directive 2003/48/EC), that allowed tax administrations to have access to information about “private savers,” was repealed on 10 November 2015 by the European Council. The repeal of the savings taxation directive follows a strengthening of global measures to prevent tax evasion—e.g., the OECD’s common reporting standard (CRS)—and is intended to eliminate overlap with other information reporting regimes.

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An EC release (11 November 2015) explains that the savings taxation directive (which had been effective since 2005) required the automatic exchange of information between EU Member States on private savings income. This treatment enabled interest payments made in one EU Member State to residents of other EU Member States to be taxed according to the laws of the state of the taxpayer’s residence. 

In December 2014, the European Council adopted Directive 2014/107/EU, amending provisions concerning the mandatory automatic exchange of information between tax administrations. The new directive extends the scope of information exchange to include interest, dividends, and other types of income and: 

  • Is effective 1 January 2016
  • Is generally broader in scope than directive 2003/48/EC
  • Implements a single global standard developed by the OECD for the automatic exchange of information
  • Provides for transitional measures including provisions granting Austria more time (one year) to apply the directive—read TaxNewsFlash-FATCA / IGA / CRS

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