Tax Evasion: Europe adopts US method

12 June 2013 – Presseurop Le Figaro

On June 12, the European Commission "will go a step further in the fight against tax evasion," says French daily Le Figaro. The EU Commission is expected to adopt a directive proposal which extends the automatic exchange of fiscal data to other sources of revenue not currently covered by EU legislation such as capital gains and dividends.

For the paper, "Europe is setting its clock on US time by adopting a European FATCA," a reference to the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, which allows the US Internal Revenue Service to obtain a lifting of bank secrecy laws by European banks and which notably "succeeded in getting Swiss banks " to bend their rules.

Le Figaro adds that —

All 27 Member States must unanimously adopt the proposed directive for it to enter into force. Austria and Luxembourg have agreed to talk about the proposed legislation, but warned that they will withhold their signatures until the principle of automatic data exchange is guaranteed, with Switzerland in particular. [...] The Swiss pretext is less solid than it might seem. The Confederation, which has already de facto lifted banking secrecy for US citizens, will be hard put to refuse to do likewise for its European neighbours.