On November 10, 2015 the Council of the European Union adopted a
directive on the repeal of the EU Savings Directive. The directive
provides for a repeal of the EU Savings Directive from January 1,
2016 onwards. In the case of Austria, a transitional arrangement
applies stating that the EU Savings Directive will be repealed in
this country with effect from January 1, 2017 only. However,
specific administrative requirements will remain unaffected, such
as the reporting and exchange of information duties, as well as
obligations on withholding taxes regarding payments made prior to
these dates. The adopted directive states that the Member States
are not obliged to apply the new requirements which would have
resulted from the latest Amending Directive of March 24, 2014. The
repeal of the EU Savings Directive became necessary following
reinforced measures to combat tax evasion both on international and
EU level. This caused considerable overlaps which are to be removed
by repealing the EU Savings Directive.
Starting in 2005, the EU Savings Directive has allowed the fiscal
authorities of the Member States better access to information on
private savers; in Germany, the directive was implemented by the
Interest Disclosure Act (Zinsinformationsverordnung (ZIV)). The EU
Savings Directive obliges the Member States to transmit to another
Member State details of payments of interest (or similar income)
paid by a person within their jurisdiction to an individual
resident in that other Member State or to certain other types of
entities established in that other Member State. During a
transition period, Austria was allowed to withhold taxes on such
payments. Analogous rules apply in some Non-EU states, such as
Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
On March 24, 2014 the Council of the European Union adopted a
directive amending the EU Savings Directive which would have had to
be implemented by the Member States into national law and would
have had to be applied as of January 1, 2017. Among other things
this Amending Directive provided for a broadened definition of the
term interest and an extended application area of the EU Savings
Directive to other, generally equivalent types of savings income
(for instance, savings income from investment funds and life
insurance contracts). Moreover, the fiscal authorities, by using a
"look-through" approach, were supposed to take measures
to identify those benefitting from interest payments.
The repeal of the EU Savings Directive has now made the
implementation of the Amending Directive obsolete.
In December 2014, the Council of the European Union adopted
Directive 2014/107/EU which provides an extension of Directive
2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation
("EU Mutual Assistance Directive"). The amended Mutual
Assistance Directive implements a standard for the exchange of
information developed by the OECD; it will enter into force on
January 1, 2016. It provides for an enhanced exchange of
information on interest, dividends, and other types of income.
Using the data of 2016, the Member States, as of September 30,
2017, will exchange potentially tax-relevant information on the
financial accounts held by persons in another state than the
respective state of residence. Existing agreements between the EU
and Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, and Switzerland
which are based on the EU Savings Directive are currently adapted
to the new standard.
Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider
comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the
"Mayer Brown Practices"). The Mayer Brown Practices are:
Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe – Brussels LLP, both
limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer
Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership
incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the
Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and Wales
number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in France;
Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its associated
entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian
law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated. "Mayer
Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the
Mayer Brown Practices in their respective
This Mayer Brown article provides information and comments
on legal issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not
a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not
intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific
legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Jonathan Sheehan gives an Irish perspective in the October 2016 edition of The American Lawyer on the European Commission's decision that Ireland granted undue tax benefits of up to EUR13 billion, plus interest, to Apple.
Three of my favourite topics feature in this issue of the Denton Briefing – tax, Bond and beer. But not necessarily in that order and not necessarily for the right reasons.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).