MIL OSI – Source: German Ministry of Finance – in English –
Headline: Germany and the Netherlands sign agreement on the exchange of tax information
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and his Dutch counterpart Jeroen Dijsselbloem signed an agreement in Brussels on 14 July 2015 to enhance the exchange of information between the two countries’ tax administrations. The German-Dutch agreement covers what is known as the “spontaneous” exchange of information that could be relevant for taxation purposes in the other country.
In the new agreement, Germany and the Netherlands commit themselves to the mutual exchange of information on unilateral advance pricing agreements if such agreements have an impact on taxation in the other state. Similarly, both countries will exchange information on advance pricing agreements that are concluded with non-EU countries in cases where either Germany or the Netherlands is not a party to the agreement in question but will be affected in terms of taxation. The German-Dutch agreement that was signed today will also cover advance tax rulings on preferential tax regimes which are issued in the Netherlands for innovation and patent boxes.
The agreement is an important step towards achieving greater transparency on tax rulings. In the aftermath of the “Luxembourg Leaks”, which were published in late 2014, Finance Minister Schäuble, together with other EU finance ministers, called on the European Commission to take action in this area. In March 2015, the Commission presented a proposal for a directive on the mandatory automatic exchange of information on tax rulings among member states. Deliberations on this proposal are in full swing. Germany is pushing for the deliberations to be concluded in autumn of this year. In this way, states whose taxation activities are affected by these kinds of tax rulings will be able to obtain information on those rulings in good time, thereby enabling them to ensure proper taxation under their national laws.
The German-Dutch agreement applies to information relating to the 2015 calendar year and subsequent years. In addition, the two countries may also agree to exchange information relating to earlier years.