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New EU Mutual Assistance Directive
On 1 February 2011, the Council of the European Union published the text of the new Mutual Assistance Directive for Exchange of information.
The new Directive represents an amendment of the old EU-Directive 77/799 regarding Mutual Assistance for Exchange of Information (’The Mutual Assistance Directive’).
The aim of the Mutual Assistance Directive is to strengthen collaboration between tax administrations within the EU in order to counter tax evasion and avoidance. One of the most important changes is that, under the revised Directive, it will not be allowed for EU Member States to refuse to exchange information on the sole ground that the information is held by a bank or other financial institution.