During the first half of 2016, the Dutch Presidency of the EU invited the Commission to propose initiatives on Mandatory Disclosure Rules, with a view to introduce more effective disincentives for intermediaries who help, assist or advise taxpayers in the design of an adequate structure to facilitate tax evasion or avoidance.
As a response, the Commission has issued a communication that initiates measures to target those that promote or enable tax evasion and avoidance schemes. The proposed objectives of further action on an EU level should:
- Dissuade intermediaries and users of potentially aggressive tax planning schemes from promoting and using them to the detriment of society;
- Ensure that national tax authorities have timely access to relevant information on such schemes;
- Avoid distortions in the single market due to diverging reporting requirements as regards to such schemes so as to ensure a level playing field amongst intermediaries;
- Facilitate administrative cooperation between tax authorities to tackle cross-border abuse; and
- Improve taxpayer voluntary compliance by introducing reassurances on the fairness of the system.
The EU consultation process is a formal step that needs to be taken in order to gather the views on the subject of the interested parties.