Sunday, October 23, 2005

Are EU bank secrecy rules and country practices not to exchange tax information with other countries harmful tax competition?

In a speech on “Tax harmonisation versus tax competition in Europe” delivered in 20 October 2005, László Kovács (European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs) emphasized the importance of exchange of information in the tax area and stated that bank secrecy rules are acceptable as long as they do not stand in the way of proper exchange of information, particularly for purely tax purposes.

The Commissioner was discussing, in the framework of tax competition, whether limitations on bank secrecy should also extend to tax related matters and noted, in that regard, that limited access to bank information and the absence of effective exchange of information in some EU countries constitutes an anomaly and therefore will (probably) be subject of the attention of the EU Commission in the coming years.


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