Discussions on the adoption of the amending proposal to the Directive are currently ongoing in Council, following unanimous conclusions adopted on 2 December 2008 and on 9 June 2009. The latest documents can be found on the Council Secretariat's website.
The 2008 Amending Proposal
Following the first review of the Directive (see below the Background section), the European Commission adopted on 13 November 2008 an amending proposal to the Savings Taxation Directive, with a view to closing existing loopholes and better preventing tax evasion. The Commission proposal seeks to improve the Directive, so as to better ensure the taxation of interest payments which are channeled through intermediate tax-exempted structures. It is also proposed to extend the scope of the Directive to income equivalent to interest obtained through investments in some innovative financial products as well as in certain life insurance products. See the press release , the answers to frequently asked questions and the Impact Assessment with its summary .
State of play (other EU Institutions than the Council)
According to Article 18 of Council Directive 2003/48/EC on taxation of income from savings (hereafter the Directive), the Commission is due to report to the Council on the operation of the Directive every three years and to propose any amendments to the Directive that may be required in order better to ensure effective taxation of savings income and to remove any undesirable distortions of competition.
The Commission issued its first report on the subject on 15 September 2008. See also the summary presentation (PPT) and the Commission's working document.
This first report was prepared after an informal consultation with the tax administrations and with market operators of the EU Member States, and on basis of a working document from the Commission, presented in the Council (Economic and financial affairs) meeting on 14.05.2008. This working document does not carry out an evaluation of the Directive and only highlights possible refinements to its coverage. See also the relevant summary presentation.
The review process takes account of the unanimous agreement reached by the Council on 27 November 2000 (see: excerpts from the Council's press release on the "essential content" of the then "future" Directive).
The Expert Group on Taxation of Savings, the "EUSD Group", has also contributed to the first review of the Directive.
Consultation of the Member States
Consultation of the Member States on the Directive has so far occurred within two separate working groups:
Working Party IV on Direct Taxation
This is a Commission technical working party, comprised of representatives from the tax administrations of Member States. Since November 2005, the group has discussed possible subjects for the review of the Directive on the basis of a working document prepared by the Commission's Services. A more advanced working document was presented by Commission services to this Working Party on 27 March 2008, following consultations with market operators in the EUSD Group.
Working Group on administrative cooperation in the field of direct taxation
This working group is also comprised of representatives from the Public administrations of Member States. It monitors the correct implementation of the Directive concerning exchange of information and the transfer of funds according to the revenue sharing of Art. 12 of the Directive.