On November 22, Members of the European Parliament voted in favor of the automatic exchange of bank data to track account owners by 590 votes to 32, with 64 abstentions.
The update of Directive 2011/16/EU was issued by the Commission in July 2016 and was endorsed by the member states in September. The parliament’s vote now allows it to enter into force immediately and member states must implement it before the end of 2017.
The new rules will enable and oblige tax authorities with anti-money laundering responsibilities in any EU country to automatically share information such as bank account balances, interest income and dividends, with their counterparts in other member states.
Emmanuel Maurel (S&D, FR), the rapporteur on Parliament’s position, said “huge efforts made in transparency are the only way to fight against [tax evasion] this scourge that affects public finances.”
In the "Access to anti-money-laundering information by tax authorities" document published on November 22, the Parliament states in a new 'Amendment 12, Proposal for a directive Recital 4 d Text proposed by the Commission Amendment (4d)' that since the information is in many cases of a cross-border nature, it should be included, where relevant, in the automatic exchange between Member States and should be made available on request to the Commission in the framework of its power to enforce state aid rules.
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