CENTRES WORRIED BY EU SAVINGS BILL
10 October 2003
Oct 9 (Reuters) - Off-shore centres are worried that
EU rules for taxing income from savings will undercut
them against key financial centres, such as Luxembourg
or Switzerland, and won't improve global tax transparency.
off-shore centres, which include fiscal havens such
as the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands and the Isle of
Man, have pledged to meet beefed up tax transparency
requirements from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation
Development by the end of 2005.
the EU rules would allow financial rivals and fellow
OECD member Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland
to retain banking secrecy until at least 2010, five
years more than the OECD deadline.
is against an OECD pledge that all of its member would
come in line with greater transparency requirements.
centres) have acted in good faith. The OECD has praised
our cooperation but is sadly unable to deliver it
on its own members," Glenroy Forbes, chairman
of the International Trade and Investment Organisation
represents 17 off-shore centres said in a statement.
ITIO is made up of financial centres that have voluntarily
initiated a transparency dialogue with the OECD as
opposed to non-cooperative tax havens such as Liechtenstein.
OECD will hold a meeting with off-shore centres next
week to assess the impact of forthcoming European
Union rules on savings on global financial transparency.
of the off-shore centres and OECD countries engaged
in tax information exchange will meet on October 14
at a closed-door meeting in Ottawa to discuss the
of the objectives is to reconfirm on the side of the
countries that are participating...that they are committed
to a level-playing field," an OECD diplomat
participants will be examining the effect of the EU
savings directive on the ability to achieve a level
a bid to fight tax evasions, EU countries adopted
in January new rules aimed at ensuring income from
EU savings stashed abroad is properly taxed.
the new rules 12 out of the 15 countries will automatically
share information on bank accounts details of EU citizens.
banking strongholds Luxembourg, Austria and Belgium
managed to guard their treasured banking secrecy in
exchange for the imposition of a withholding tax that
would gradually rise from 15 to 35 percent.
the main non-EU financial centre, has agreed to enter
a bilateral tax treaty with the EU and would follow
the same rules to be applied to Luxembourg, Austria
new EU rules will only enter into force when other
four non-EU centres -- Monaco, San Marino, Liechtenstein
and Andorra -- have also signed the EU tax treaty.
the issue has run into opposition from Liechtenstein,
which is not a OECD member and has been indicated
by the OECD as one of the few remaining real tax havens
in the world.
to ITIO in the News index