EU wants wider bank data swap to fight tax dodgers

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EU wants wider bank data swap to fight tax dodgers

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The European Commission has revealed details of its latest plans to clamp down on tax dodging

It wants banks to give European Union authorities more information about their customers.

But that will likely face opposition from Luxembourg, which does not want to relax its banking secrecy laws more than Switzerland.

The EU’s Taxation Commissioner Algirdas Semeta said they want to expand the flow and level of information: “What the Commission has proposed today is to expand the automatic exchange of information between EU tax authorities – dividends, capital gains, all other financial income and account balances should be added to the already extensive list of categories subject to the automatic exchange of information.”

Luxembourg’s big banking sector has much to lose, particularly if customers were lured away by Swiss banks subject to laxer rules.

The Luxembourg government has signed up to exchanging information about the bank accounts of EU citizens from 2015, but in private officials have pulling back on what type of data they would be willing to hand over.

It is waiting to see what comes from talks between Brussels and Switzerland on a similar information swap agreement. Semeta is due to meet next week with the Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf.

Banking secrecy is high on Europe’s political agenda ahead of German elections later this year and following the resignation of a French budget minister over a secret Swiss account.