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EU Savings Directive: A Check List on Progress (Part 2)

Contributing Editor, 6 June 2005

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The European Savings Taxation Directive goes live at the beginning of next month. WealthBriefing takes another look at a detailed study by T...

The European Savings Taxation Directive goes live at the beginning of next month. WealthBriefing takes another look at a detailed study by The European Banking Federation, which looks at where each country in Europe stands in implementing the Directive. Many countries are still some way off from implementing adequate laws and procedures on the Directive. Ironically, according to some observers, Switzerland’s financial services sector and its regulators are probably the most advanced in applying all the necessary legal and procedural requirements. 2. Has country laid secondary regulations (decisions, decrees, resolutions) under Art 17(1) of Directive? What are the references/dates? Is it available on the internet? AUSTRIA: Guidance notes are being prepared by the Ministry of Finance and will be published as a decree. BELGIUM :Not yet. CZECH REPUBLIC: No secondary regulations. CYPRUS:Secondary legislation will be laid before the House of Representatives in due course and will be effective as from 1st July 2005. The secondary legislation is not yet available in English. DENMARK: No, not yet, but the banker sector and the tax administration are working on some technical guidelines. ESTONIA: No. FINLANDNew rules have been issued and amended annual reporting will apply to interests paid during year 2005. The information requirement has been laid out in broad terms in 18 § of the National Board of Taxes on the General Obligation to Provide Information with reference to the directive (Verohallituksen päätös yleisestä tiedonantovelvollisuudesta; Päätös Dnro 1655/32/2004), which is to be considered secondary legislation. An English version is unfortunately not available. FRANCE: Decrees have been published The regulations provide for : 1) the definition of beneficial owner, 2) the definition of interest. GERMANY: YES: “Zinsinformationsverordnung” of 26 January 2004 http://www.bundes. nanzministerium.de/Anlage23752/Zinsinformationsverordnung.pdf GREECE:Secondary Legislation has not yet been issued. For your information, Article 4 § 4 of the Greek law nominates the Directory of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Economics as the Competent Authority. Article 4 par. 5 authorizes the Minister of Economics to issue a decision referring to further matters as described in § 1,2,3 (beneficial owner, paying agent, interest payments). Furthermore, Article 7 § 4 of the law, the Minister of Economics is authorized to publish a decision describing the procedure that the paying agent must follow so as to furnish the necessary evidences referring to the beneficial owner, the relevant tax authority to which the paying agent must furnish the evidences about the interest payments as well as any other relevant matters. Guidance notes are expected to be published with respect to other matters (e.g. joint account treatment etc.). HUNGARY: Not yet, but the Minister of Finance decree, mentioned in point 3 of Schedule 7 to Act XCII of 2003, is under preparation. IRELAND:No, there are currently no secondary regulations in force. However the Directive was originally transposed by Statutory Instrument No. 717 of 2003 which was subsequently revoked by the Finance Act, 2004 with the Directive then consolidated in primary legislation. ITALY: The tax administration is preparing the relevant acts (provisions by the Director of the Revenue Agency) provided for by the decree implementing the directive, approved on 24 March 2005. Said acts have to be issued within 60 days from the date of entry into force of the decree. LATVIA:No secondary legislation acts have been prepared. LITHUANIA:No LUXEMBOURG:An administrative circular by the Tax Director will follow after the vote of the law. MALTA:Yes. By virtue of the powers conferred by the new Article 52 B and by Article 96 of the Income Tax Act, the Minister of Finance issued Legal Notice No. 267 of 2004 containing the ‘European Union Directives Regulations, 2004’. These Regulations can be accessed on website reference: http://www. doi.gov.mt/EN/legalnotices/2004/05/LN267.pdf NETHERLANDS: No POLAND:Yes. The decree of Ministry of Finance is concerning the patterns of documentation for exchange of informations. PORTUGAL:No secondary regulations have been laid. SLOVAKI: Neither regulations, decisions nor directions have been issued (published) yet and therefore they are not available in electronic form. Based on decisions of the EU Council, SR was bind to accept, in scope of bilateral treaties, the same measures as determined by the Direction especially concerning exchange of information with the third countries and with the countries dependent in the EU member states based on model agreements designated by the EU Council. All agreements (treaties) are in the course of legislation process now. SPAIN:Yes the secondary legislation was approved by Royal Decree 1778/2004, of July 30, available in Internet in the web http://www.aeat.es/normlegi/irpf/rd300704.htm. Chapter VI, First, Second and Third Additional Provisions, Second Transitory Provision and Final Provision apply to the information to be submitted in relation with the Directive on interest. An English translation of the Draft Decree was already sent to the Federation and no substantial changes have been introduced in the final version. SWEDEN:No UK:Statutory Instrument 2003/3297. This can be found at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/si/2003-3297.pdf Further regulations are expected within the next 2 months in relation to the third (non-EU) countries. ISLE OF MAN:No LIECHTENSTEIM: None. Whereas the English text of art. 17 (1) of the Directive mentions the adoption and publication of “the laws, regulations and administrative provisions” necessary to comply with the Directive the German translation of art. 17 (1) mentions “Rechtsund Verwaltungsvorschriften” only. SWITZERLAND:Yes. Detailed draft guidelines from the Swiss Federal Tax Administration have been available in German and French on the website of the SFTA www.estv.admin.ch since October 2004. The second and updated version of the guidelines will be published shortly. 3. Has country laid administrative provisions (guidance) under Art 17(1) of Directive? What are the references/dates? Is it available on the internet? AUSTRIA:(compare with question 2) BELGIUM:Not yet. CZECH REPUBLIC: No provisions. CYPRUS:Yes, administrative guidance in the form of a Revenue administrative circular(s) and an information booklet which will be prepared by the Revenue, is under preparation. DENMARK:(see question 2). ESTONIA:No FINLAND:The Ministry of Finance is currently working on a guidance paper in conjunction with the National Board of Taxes. FRANCE:A guidance should be available on May 2005. GERMANY:For guidance see question 2 (above) GREECE: No HUNGARY:No IRELAND:Yes, guidance issued by the Revenue Commissioners (Ireland) http://www.revenue.ie/pdf/sav_dir.pdf ITALY:Not yet. LATVIA:No administrative provisions have been prepared. LITHUANIA:No guidance. LUXEMBOURG:No official administrative provision available. The Bankers’ Association and the Fund Industry Association published in February 2005 (for their members) an ‘handbook’ based on the draft law and summarizing the conclusions of the working groups of the two associations and the discussions with the tax administration. MALTA: Guidelines have been drafted by the Inland Revenue Department, and although these are at an advanced stage, they have not yet been finalised. The Malta Bankers’ Association is being consulted during the drafting process. NETHERLANDS:No POLAND: No PORTUGAL: No administrative provisions have been laid. SLOVAKIA: No SPAIN:At the moment, there is no any administrative provisions adopted, but we do know that our Government is working in the modification of several regulations (Ordenes Ministeriales) concerning the way in which tax information is provided by the financial institutions. There is no draft available. SWEDEN:No ISLE OF MAN:No. In draft LIECHTENSTEIN:Not yet. It is assumed that Liechtenstein will draw up guidelines similar to those of the Swiss “Wegleitung”. SWITZERLANDYes

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