Last week, the EU made steps to increase tax transparency by ensuring automatic exchange of tax information with Switzerland and Liechtenstein – countries sometimes seen as providing opportunities for tax evasion thanks to their bank secrecy laws. Deals with two Alpine countries were signed, which upgrade the existing system of information sharing to the level comparable to the intra-EU system. The information-sharing is in line with the OECD standards. The agreement with Switzerland was signed already in May 2015, but last week the European Parliament made an important step – at its plenary, the MEPs gave the deal a non-binding go (593 votes for, 37 against, 58 abstentions). The EU and Switzerland will now finalize the deal and it is expected to come into force in 2018. The agreement with Liechtenstein was only signed last week by the Presidency of the Council and once all formalities are met, the information-sharing will begin in 2017.
2nd May 2018