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Luxembourg, Austria Hold Savings Tax Talks

by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
13 February, 2014

Luxembourg's Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna has held talks in the Grand Duchy with his Austrian counterpart Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger, with the discussions focussing on a banking union as well as on European Union savings tax regulations.

With regard to plans to revise and to extend the scope of the EU Savings Tax Directive, Austria and Luxembourg underlined their insistence on ensuring a level playing field with third countries.

Confirming that they can see "movement" on this issue, both Ministers welcomed the fact that negotiations with Switzerland and with other third states have now finally begun.

Finance Ministers Gramegna and Spindelegger nevertheless called on the European Commission to further accelerate these negotiations, as requested by the European Council in December 2013. Furthermore, Luxembourg and Austria expressed their hope that the European Commission's March 2014 report to the European Council will record "real progress in the negotiations."

Both Ministers emphasized their satisfaction that the EU objectives, defined by ECOFIN in May 2013, are to be incorporated into the negotiations. These objectives include Luxembourg's request for automatic information exchange and Austria's demand for provisions governing foundations and trusts.

Concluding, the Ministers made clear that ensuring a level playing field, as sought by the Grand Duchy and Austria, and guaranteeing rules for foundations and trust funds, as requested by Austria, are in the interests of the European Single Market.

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