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Austria Notes EU Agreement On Tax Evasion Action

Monday, May 27, 2013

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann has underlined Austria's commitment to supporting the Europe-wide fight against tax fraud and tax evasion, as expressed at the recent European Council meeting in Brussels.

Addressing parliament ahead of the meeting of European Union (EU) leaders, Chancellor Faymann insisted that Austria is not a "blockade country" when it comes to tax justice. Austria has adopted "a clear position" in the European fight against tax flight, the Austrian Chancellor said. Faymann stressed that Austria is not merely a "tail light" in the offensive, but in contrast intends to play an "active, positive role."

Austria advocates an exchange of information with third states that at the very least corresponds to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) standards, Faymann explained. The Chancellor also underlined the importance of swiftly including trusts and other similar corporate structures in the regulations, arguing that "any loophole is one too many."

At the same time, Faymann made clear that banking secrecy for Austrian citizens is to remain in place in its current form. Faymann emphasized that domestic banking secrecy for the country's residents is not "in danger."

Chancellor Faymann also highlighted the fact that Austria's bilateral withholding tax treaty with Switzerland is to remain valid, at least until a new European accord is in place.

Concluding, Chancellor Faymann stressed that there are now no longer any barriers standing in the way of an EU agreement on initiatives with which to combat tax evasion.