Tax deals comply with EU law says commissioner

Tax evasion accords concluded by Switzerland with Germany and Britain do not breach European Union laws, the EU taxation commissioner has confirmed.

This content was published on April 17, 2012 - 14:14 and agencies

The agreements are “fully compliant with EU law”, EU taxation commissioner Algirdas Semeta told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday.

Semeta’s confirmation comes after he warned the EU’s 27 member states last month that they “should refrain from negotiating, initialling or ratifying agreements with Switzerland” if some of the countries’ provisions interfere with EU legislation.

The European Commission, the EU's executive, wants to negotiate an EU-wide tax deal with Switzerland, but that has been held up by disagreements over the automatic exchange of information about Swiss bank deposits held by EU citizens.

In the meantime, several individual member states have negotiated their own deals with Switzerland.

Semeta said a separate accord with Austria, received by the commission last Thursday, was still being assessed.

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