Recent EU developments: new rules giving tax authorities access to data about companies and trusts are now in force

In January, new rules came into force obliging member states to give tax authorities access to data collected under anti-money laundering legislation which came into effect on 1 January 2018. 

Under the new rules, national tax authorities will have direct access to information on the beneficial owners of companies, trusts and other entities, as well as customer due diligence records of companies. These rules are designed to help combat the problems with certain business structures, a concern highlighted by the European Parliament in particular in the wake of the recent Panama and Paradise Papers scandals. 

The new amended rules are enshrined in the Directive on Administrative Cooperation (Directive 2011/16/EU). 

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