Five EU Countries Strike Up Tax Information Agreement
LONDON – The escalating fight against international tax aevasion has staken another step forward as five EU countries announce a new program which seeks to ease the process of sharing taxpayer data across boarders and between various international tax authorities.
In a letter dated April 9th and addressed to the European Commissioner for Taxation Algirdas Semeta the ministers of finance of the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and France jointly revealed that the five countries have finally agreed to implement a “pilot multilateral exchange facility” aimed at easing the process of sharing information about taxpayers resident or operating in any of these five countries, as a mutual effort to cut down on the occurrence of tax evasion.
According to the information provided in the letter, the framework of the new program is based on the automatic information sharing procedures and requirements already outlined in the USA’s Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act.
Explaining the benefits of the sharing agreement, the five ministers wrote that the new pilot program will “…not only help in catching and deterring tax evaders but it will also provide a template as to the wider multilateral agreement we hope to see in due course.”
The letter indicates that in the near future the five participating countries will also extend an invitation to other European countries to join the system if their existing legislation and regulations adequately allow for the automatic exchange of taxpayer details.
The details of the implementation of the program is not yet known, but the five countries have agreed to continue negotiations and discussions on the system in the near future.
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