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Mutual assistance by Member States in the field of direct taxation and taxation of insurance premiums

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To combat international tax evasion and avoidance the European Union is strengthening collaboration between the Member States' tax administrations and facilitate the exchange of information which appears relevant for the correct assessment of taxes on income and on capital.

ACT

Council Directive 77/799/EEC of 19 December 1977 concerning mutual assistance by the competent authorities of the Member States in the field of direct taxation and taxation of insurance premiums.

SUMMARY

Under this Directive, Member States' competent authorities are required to exchange any information which appears relevant for the correct assessment of taxes on income and on capital and the assessment of indirect taxes:

  • value added tax;
  • excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages:
  • excise duty on manufactured tobacco.

Taxes on income and on capital are deemed to include all taxes, irrespective of the manner in which they are levied, imposed on total income, on total capital, or on elements of income or of capital, including taxes on gains from the disposal of movable or immovable property, taxes on the amounts of wages or salaries paid by enterprises, as well as taxes on capital appreciation.

The competent authority of a Member State may request the competent authority of another Member State to forward the information referred to at point 1.

All information made known to a Member State under the directives must be kept secret in that state in the same manner as information received under its domestic legislation.

These directives impose no obligation to have enquiries carried out or to provide information if the Member State which should furnish the information would be prevented by its laws or administrative practices from carrying out these enquiries or from collecting or using this information for its own purposes.

Directive 79/1070/EEC makes some changes to the wording of Directive 77/799/EEC.

Directive 92/12/EEC amends Directive 77/799/EEC to extend its scope to cover excise duties.

Directive 2003/93/EC extends the scope of mutual assistance provided for in Directive 77/799/EEC to cover the taxes on insurance premiums referred to in Directive 76/308/EEC so as to better protect the financial interests of the Member States and the neutrality of the internal market.

Directive 2004/56/EC is designed to speed up the flow of information between Member States' tax authorities. On direct taxation (income tax, company tax and capital gains tax), in conjunction with taxes on insurance premiums, it permits the Member States to coordinate their investigative action against cross-border tax fraud and to carry out more procedures on behalf of each other. It thus updates Directive 77/799/EEC on mutual assistance and rectifies its weaknesses.

Council Directive 2004/106/EC amends the original title and the content of Directive 77/799/EEC. As provisions covering administrative cooperation in the field of excise duties are included in Council Regulation 2073/2004, Directive 77/799/EEC will henceforth focus only on mutual assistance by the competent authorities of the Member States in the field of direct taxation and taxation of insurance premiums.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 77/799/EEC [adoption by consultation]23.12.197701.01.1979OJ L 336 of 27.12.1977

Amending act(s)Entry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 79/1070/EEC07.12.197901.01.1981OJ L 331 of 27.12.1979
Directive 92/12/EEC06.03.199201.01.1993OJ L 76 of 23.03.1992
Directive 2003/93/EC15.10.200331.12.2003OJ L 264 of 15.10.2003
Directive 2004/56/EC29.04.200401.01.2005OJ L 127 of 29.04.2004
Directive 2004/106/EC24.12.200430.06.2005OJ L 359 of 04.12.2004
Directive 2006/98/EC1.1.20071.1.2007OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006
Last updated: 21.02.2007
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