As the European Tax Adviser Federation, ETAF has closely followed the developments of the proposed directive since it was firstly launched in June 2017. In its positioning, ETAF strongly advocated in favour of the safeguard of the professional secrecy as one of the ground pillars of tax professionals. Furthermore, ETAF stressed the danger of an “overreporting” towards the fiscal administration due to the scope of the Directive being too broad, which would have caused a disproportionate amount of information to be reported to the tax administrations and resulted in an excessive burden for both tax advisers and tax administrations.
Commenting on the political agreement reached yesterday at the ECOFIN-meeting of the Finance Ministers, ETAF President Philippe Arraou states: “Even if our fundamental concerns about this Directive remain unchanged, we have to acknowledge that one of our main objectives, the safeguarding of our professional secrecy, has been taken duly into account in the Directive. Furthermore, we appreciate that the danger of an “overreporting” is now limited because the scope of reportable cross-border tax schemes has finally been narrowed – a subject which was controversial among the Finance Ministers until the very last minute”.