The failure of the EU Savings Tax Directive

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Keith Boyfield, a Senior Fellow of the ASI and chairman of our Regulatory Evaluation Group (REG), has co-authored a new report for the European Policy Forum, released today.

In Challenges facing the EU Savings Tax – the first independent study of the EU Savings Tax Directive – Keith and his co-author, Graham Mather, reveal that the European Commission is in danger of scoring an own goal in its move to raise larger tax receipts and crack down on perceived tax evasion. The report shows that the Directive has not fulfilled its original goals. Member state governments have found the exchange of information model difficult to apply with a number of countries reporting long delays, inaccurate data and a range of problems centering on pursuing reports of interest income received by taxpayers in other countries.

Based on a wide-ranging survey, the report estimates that calculates that the 1,243 leading banks in the EU and Switzerland have incurred compliance costs of €753m to implement the current Savings Tax Directive. In addition, they face annual compliance costs of a further €693m. And if the European Commission’s current review of the Directive leads to the scope of the tax being extended, we are likely to see Europe’s increasingly financially vulnerable banking sector presented with an estimated bill of an additional €682m to comply with the Directive’s wider remit.

For more information, visit the European Policy Forum's website.