The new Expert Group will provide advice which will allow the Commission to assist the Council and Member States to ensure that EU legislation on automatic exchange of information in direct taxation is effectively aligned and fully compatible with the OECD Global Standard on automatic exchange of financial account information.
On 16 March 2015, the first report of the Expert Group was published. The report includes a list of the major outstanding issues regarding the implementation of the Revised Directive on Administrative Cooperation (Directive 2014/107/EU) and provides recommendations or preliminary comments by the Expert Group in respect of these issues. It may be updated later on, in particular in view of steps taken by Member States regarding the implementation of DAC2.
The Expert Group includes the following: organisations representing financial sector businesses which will be required to implement the aligned EU legislation in their business operations; and organisations involved in good governance in tax matters, and with promoting better tax compliance with the aims of combatting tax evasion and tax avoidance, for example civil society organisations.
Members are appointed for a mandate starting on 1 October 2014 and ending on 30 June 2017: Commission Register of Expert Groups.
The documents relating to the meetings of the group will be accessible on the Commission Register of Expert Groups under the heading 'Expert group on automatic exchange of financial account information'.
In today’s difficult economic climate, many EU Member States need more than ever to ensure that they collect all the tax revenues that are due to them in order to fund public expenditure and reduce public debt. They also need to ensure that the tax rules are seen to apply fairly to every individual resident in their jurisdiction. But in the world of today in which individuals are active in several different countries it can be easier to avoid or evade taxes. This is why EU Member States recognise the need to cooperate more closely to prevent tax fraud and evasion and ensure the fairness of taxation systems both within the EU and internationally.
The cooperation systems in place between EU Member States ensure information exchange between the tax authorities of EU Member States for a range of income categories paid across borders to individuals. Currently the European Union has two pieces of legislation which provide automatic exchange of information for direct taxation purposes: the Savings Taxation Directive and the Directive on Administrative Co-operation in Direct Taxation.
The Commission will assist the Council in its discussions on alignment of the aforementioned EU legislation on automatic exchange of information with the OECD Global Standard on automatic exchange of financial account information which is expected to be formally adopted by the OECD in mid-2014. The alignment will aim to limit the administrative burden of such legislation on financial sector businesses whilst preserving the specific needs of the EU internal market.