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International Information Exchange and Mutual Assistance in Tax Matters

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The international taxation information exchange and mutual assistance in tax matters is becoming more and more important not only due to the fact that undertakings generally expand their cross-border business activities but also due to the fact that private individuals seem to be more conscious about the possibility to evade taxes through shifting their assets abroad.

Apparently, the strengthening of information exchange and mutual assistance as a mechanism for administrative cooperation between states remains one of the outstanding issues in international tax law.

The research project aims at analysing problems which arise in the context of instruments of international mutual assistance and information exchange available within the EU and on the basis of bilateral double taxation conventions as well as with regard to third countries. One of the aims is to evaluate the possibilities for national tax authorities to obtain assistance by other states for exchange of information or assistance in the collection of taxes within the EU as to their adequacy and efficiency. It is moreover necessary to review the application and interpretation of assistance rules contained in double taxation conventions and the respective EC directives.

In addition to general considerations, emphasis will be put on the question whether the possibility to ask for assistance might influence justifications for discrimination under the fundamental freedoms on the basis of the ECJ’s case law.