10 April 2013: Formal announcement that Luxembourg shall apply the Directive 2003/48/EC on taxation of savings income in the form of interest payments by way of the automatic exchange of information (like 25 out of the 27 EU member states) as of 1st January 2015.
Law of 29 March 2013 on administrative cooperation on tax matters, transposing the Directive 2011/16/UE coming into force as of 1st January 2013 and expanding the scope of administrative cooperation with the revenue authorities of other EU member states.
9 April 2013: Letter by the Finance Ministers of Europe’s five largest economies (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK) announcing commitment to implement of automatic exchange of information for tax purposes.
12 April 2013: Finance Minister Maria Fekter declared at EU Finance Ministers Meeting in Dublin that she will “fight like a lion” to protect Austrian banking secrecy, which is enshrined in the country’s Constitution. Accordingly, Austria is for the time being the sole EU member state committed to apply the Taxation on Savings Directive in the form of a 35% withholding tax with no disclosure of the taxpayers’ names.
11 April 2013: Government announced prosecution in respect of the information illicitly obtained and published in the context of the “Offshore Leaks” incident.
Federal Budget 2013 delivered on 21 March 2013: it contains among others provisions meant to extend the ‘attribution rules’ relating to non-resident trust (ie cases where the trust income is attributed to the settlor) with a view to countering the effects of the Federal Court of Appeal decision in Her Majesty The Queen v Sommerer, 2012 FCA 207.
11 April 2013: Bailout plan formally approved by Eurozone Finance Ministers
UK – Crown Dependencies
Disclosure agreements signed with the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey to the effect of the automatic provision of bank account holders’ information to the HMRC starting from 1st October 2016 (sometimes referred to as the “UK FATCA”). As a result, a Disclosure Facility has been in place since 6 April 2013 and shall last until 30 September 2016. BVI and Cayman Islands have indicated their willingness to sign similar agreements with the UK as well as with the US.
6 April 2013: UK budged came into force. It includes, among others, new residence rules and new tax on properties held via offshore corporate vehicles (Annual Tax on Enevolped Dwellings, ATED)
Disclaimer: The STEP Benelux Technical Committee’s Update mentions and highlights some recent statutory, regulatory and judiciary developments that may be of some relevance or interest for the STEP members and their clients. It does not purport to express STEP’s opinion on any of the facts and events referred in it. Any action based on the news, facts and developments referred to in this Technical Committee’s Update should be taken after an accurate analysis of the relevant information and on the grounds of appropriate professional advice.