Written in 2011, this briefing provides an insight into where the debate around the automatic exchange of information was and shows that there is still a long way to go. Full implementation of the automatic exchange of information is still not a reality, yet the dangers highlights in this briefing have not gone anywhere. In particular, while there has been positive movement within the European Union, the United States continues to employ its alternate system, the Financial Account Tax Compliance Act, that does not provide for the reciprocal exchange of information. Likewise, the danger of ‘transitional periods’ that never effectively terminate it still a tactic employed by countries and corporations looking to extend their free tax windows. Delays in implementation, ten years later, should be viewed through this long lens to understand that what is being asked is not new and the time for excuses is over. While the Tax Justice Network commended the United States implementation of the Financial Account Tax Compliance Act at the time, it is clear that these bilateral and regional agreements have served more to impede the global and automatic exchange of information and a unitary system is what is needed.
Markus Meinzer ■ Briefing paper on EU Savings Tax Directive and Automatic Information Exchange