Second Review of the Savings Taxation Directive
Following the second review of the Directive, on 2 March 2012 the Commission adopted a report to Council (COM/2012/65 ) on the Savings Taxation Directive (see page 38). The Commission services issued a staff working document to accompany this report (SWD/ 2012/16 ).
The main findings of the review, being the widespread use of offshore jurisdictions for intermediary entities and the growth in key markets that provide products comparable to debt claims, reinforce the arguments for extending the scope not only of the Directive, as contained in the Amending Proposal , but also of the relevant agreements.
Other findings of the review:
Member States carrying out an assessment following the introduction of the Directive have reported increased compliance by taxpayers in the reporting of savings income in their tax declarations.
Use of data exchanged under the Directive
The report identifies best practices in order for the Member State of the beneficial owner to make better use of the data exchanged:
- integration of a savings directive database with the national tax database;
- development of risk management and more automated process of cross-checking the data;
- streamlining of the dissemination of data between the central tax administration and the local collection offices.
Quality of data
Member States have indicated a clear increase in the quality of the data received which they attribute to the structured format and common rules of procedures under which the data are reported. However, Member States would like to see further improvements in the quality of data exchanged. Therefore the review highlights the importance of systematic checks on the data and the use of the Commission's online checking system TIN to correctly identify the taxpayer.
Quantity of data
The high variability of the quantity of information exchanged by Member States during the period under review demonstrates the necessity for Member States to consider the use of controls on the completeness of data submitted by paying agents, including the following:
- a central register to be created by each Member State which lists paying agents established in their jurisdiction. Such a register may help the tax administrations to verify whether data has been submitted when due;
- fluctuation analyses of data submitted by paying agents, in particular for amounts reported and the number of beneficial owners;
- cooperation between Member States in order to strengthen the audit procedures relating to paying agents including paying agents' systems and internal control guidelines;
- the development of benchmarks and comparisons to other sources of data, for example national statistics on the reporting of cross-border deposits.
Most of the steps to be taken under the Directive are considered by paying agents as part of their normal business activities, therefore the associated administrative burden seems not to be excessive.
Transposition and implementation of the Directive
A report (SEC/2011/775 ) on the proper functioning of the Directive suggests that some of the Directive's provisions have been interpreted differently by Member States. Some of the risks of different interpretation thus highlighted had already been identified in the report for the first review. In this context, the main problems would be removed through the corresponding new rules contained in the Amending Proposal.