Repeal of the Savings Directive in phase with the implementation of Directive 2014/107/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of direct taxation
On 18 March 2015 the Commission presented a proposal to Council to repeal the Savings Directive. The adoption by Council is expected in the forthcoming months. The measures of cooperation provided by the Savings Directive will be progressively replaced by the implementation of Council Directive 2014/107/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of direct taxation which provides for automatic exchange of financial account information between Member States, including income categories contained in the Savings Directive. Under transitional arrangements, the Savings Directive will continue to be operational until the end of 2015 to be replaced by Council Directive 2014/107/EU as from 1 January, 2016. As Austria has been allowed to start applying Council Directive 2014/107/EU up to one year later than other Member States, special transitional arrangements, taking account of this derogation, will apply to Austria. Provided the proposal to repeal is adopted by the Council, the amendment to the Savings Directive, which had been adopted by the Council on 24 March 2014 (Official Journal L 155 of 15 April 2014, p.50) will not have to be transposed by Member States.
New EU-Switzerland Agreement on automatic exchange of financial account information
On 27 May 2015 the European Union and Switzerland signed a Protocol amending their existing Savings agreement and transforming it into an agreement on automatic exchange of financial account information based on the Global Standard. The revised agreement, which ensures that EU residents will no longer be able to hide undeclared income in Swiss accounts, represents a significant step forward for the European Union in its fight to combat tax fraud and tax evasion. The revised agreement also takes into account the provisions of the aforementioned amending Directive 2014/107/EU. The existing EU-Switzerland Savings agreement will continue to be operational until 31 December 2016. From 1 January 2017, financial institutions in the EU and Switzerland will commence the due diligence procedures envisaged under the new Agreement to identify customers who are reportable persons, i.e. for Switzerland, residents of any EU Member State. By September 2018, the national authorities will report the financial information to each other.
Other Savings Agreements
The Commission is currently in negotiations with Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino to update their respective Savings agreements in line with developments at EU and international level, along the lines of the revised EU-Switzerland Agreement. These revised agreements should be signed before the end of 2015.