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This book comprises the final reports of the annual meeting of the European Association of Tax Law Professors (EATLP) held in Budapest, Hungary from 1-3 June 2006.
The Savings Directive (2003/48/EC) was an important step in the long march of the European Union on exchange of information which started with Directive 77/799/EC on administrative cooperation. For years, these were the two main instruments that the EU Member States had at their disposal to collect tax information on cross-border operations together with article 26 of the OECD Model Convention on exchange of information. The Savings Directive was also a major challenge of the banking privilege. By introducing a transitional regime for only three countries with a banking privilege, the Directive signalled the end of secrecy.
This book contains a comprehensive survey of the implementation of the Savings Directive in 15 EU Member States shortly after it became effective on 1 July 2005. It highlights the practical but also the theoretical problems of the new automatic exchange mechanism that was set up and signals the major problems of the limited scope of the Directive. The Directive did not apply to legal entities or investments in non-EU regulated collective investment funds and there were no provisions for trusts and other similar arrangements, while certain mixed insurance products also escaped application. Most of these problems have been remedied by the new Savings Directive that was approved on 24 March 2014.
In the meantime there has been a revolutionary change in the paradigm of exchange of information at the level of the OECD and the Model Convention. Automatic exchange of information that was the model for the original Savings Directive has become the new international standard and the European Commission is even considering repealing the new version of the Directive that was approved only a few months ago. This book provides an interesting insight into the fundamental issues of automatic exchange of information and presents valuable lessons for the newest international trend of extending automatic exchange of information to all categories of income.