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Document 32011L0016

Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation

 

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 2011/16/EU on cooperation between EU countries’ tax administrations

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?

It lays down the rules and procedures that EU countries’ national authorities must apply when exchanging information on tax matters.

KEY POINTS

The legislation applies to all taxes apart from the following:

  • value added tax and customs duties;
  • excise duties covered by other EU legislation or cooperation procedures;
  • compulsory social security contributions payable to an individual’s home country;
  • fees for certificates and other documents issued by public authorities;
  • contractual dues, such as public utility bills.

The relevant national authority establishes a central liaison office whose role it is to:

  • maintain contact with similar bodies in other EU countries, either directly or through designated departments and officials;
  • process requests for information.

Requests for information must be:

  • confirmed, if possible electronically, within 7 working days at the latest;
  • answered as quickly as possible and within 6 months at the latest.

Since 1 January 2014, national authorities must, at least once a year, automatically provide their counterparts with the following mandatory information on residents in another EU country:

  • employment income,
  • director’s fees,
  • life insurance schemes,
  • pensions,
  • ownership of, and income from, immovable property.

As of 2017, national authorities must automatically provide their counterparts with information on financial accounts held by residents in another EU country and on cross-border rulings.

As of 2018, national authorities must automatically provide their counterparts with information on country-by-country reports and they must be given access to anti-money laundering information.

National authorities must spontaneously provide information to counterparts elsewhere in the EU as soon as possible and no later than 1 month after it becomes available, if:

  • they believe there may be a tax loss in another EU country;
  • a person in one country receives a tax reduction or exemption which would increase their tax liability in another;
  • business dealings between two people in different countries could lead to tax savings for either or for both;
  • artificial profit transfers within groups of enterprises could lead to tax savings;
  • they receive information from another authority which could be relevant in assessing their tax liability.

National authorities:

  • in two or more EU countries may agree to carry out simultaneous controls of taxpayers in which they both have an interest;
  • asked to provide information may request feedback from those using it — this should be provided within 3 months;
  • receiving information from a non-EU country may share this with their EU counterparts if they consider it to be of use.

All information shared between national authorities is subject to official secrecy.

As of 1 January 2018, national authorities must annually provide the European Commission with data on the volume of automatic exchanges of information and, where possible, must assess the costs and benefits.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

It entered into force on 11 March 2011. It has been applicable in the EU countries from 1 January 2013.

BACKGROUND

Faced with increasing taxpayers’ mobility, more cross-border transactions and the arrival of new financial instruments, national tax administrations need to cooperate more with each other if they are to manage their own tax systems effectively.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Council Directive 2011/16/EU of 15 February 2011 on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation and repealing Directive 77/799/EEC (OJ L 64, 11.3.2011, pp. 1-12)

Successive amendments to Directive 2011/16/EU have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Council Directive (EU) 2016/2258 of 6 December 2016 amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards access to anti-money-laundering information by tax authorities (OJ L 342, 16.12.2016, pp. 1-3)

Council Directive (EU) 2016/881 of 25 May 2016 amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation (OJ L 146, 3.6.2016, pp. 8-21)

Council Directive (EU) 2015/2376 of 8 December 2015 amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation (OJ L 332, 18.12.2015, pp. 1-10)

Council Directive 2014/107/EU of 9 December 2014 amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation (OJ L 359, 16.12.2014, pp. 1-29)

last update 07.11.2017

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