Sparandedirektivet : En uppsats om direktivets effekter i Sverige

by Hellström, Maria; Tångring, Nina

Abstract (Summary)
The aim of the Savings Taxation Directive is to ensure an effective taxation of income from savings in the form of interest payments within the EU. This shall be done through taxation of the interest payment in the Member State where the beneficial owner, the saver, has his residence. The directive is only applicable on individuals and on cross-border payments. The aim shall be achieved through an exchange of information between the Member States. Instead of exchanging information, a Member State can choose to levy a withholding tax. A certain amount of that tax shall be transferred to the Member State of residence of the beneficial owner. The obligation for Swedish banks to forward statements of earnings concerning foreign savers has been extended through the directive. The banks sends the information to the Swedish tax authority which then forwards the information to the competent authority in the savers state of residence.The directive contains an exception, the de minimis rule, that states that Member States can choose to exempt certain interest payments deriving from Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities (UCITS). The aim of the exception is to give the Member States a possibility to exclude undertakings which invest mainly in equity but which must hold some debt for liquidity purposes. The Swedish Government has chosen not to implement the exception into Swedish law. In our opinion, this leads to a competitive disadvantage for Swedish UCITS. Due to the Governments’ decision, the Swedish UCITS must, in order to be able to sell their products within the EU, be able to show the interest part of a dividend. If this cannot be done, the entire amount is considered as interest and must be reported as such.The directive has been implemented into Swedish law through a paragraph in the Law of Self Assessment and Statement of Earnings. It states that the Savings Taxation Directive shall be applied as Swedish law. Besides the implementation, some parts of the law have been changed. We think that the implementation may be in breach of the directive, which states that Member States must pass laws and decrees necessary to fulfill the regulations in the directive. We do not think that the Swedish law has been adjusted to the directive in a sufficient way since the Swedish law sometimes overlap the directive and sometimes contradict it. The Swedish law contains two exceptions from the obligation to give statements of earnings. These exceptions breach the directive since the directive does not contain any exceptions of this kind. However, we think that the exceptions are reasonable since they exempt bank accounts which are of no importance for the exchange of information stated in the directive. Similar exceptions should therefore in our opinion be included in the directive.The implementation of the Savings Taxation Directive has caused the Swedish banks, in their role as paying agents, supplementary work and costs. The costs have occurred when the banks have had to adopt their computer systems in order to fulfil the criteria in the directive. The banks also had to complete their information about foreign savers who are liable to tax in Sweden.The Swedish tax authority is the competent authority in Sweden and shall therefore report the information, concerning foreign tax payers, that is forwarded by the paying agents. Sweden had, even before the implementation of the directive, a well functioning system for statements of earnings. The state also participates in the exchange of information that takes place within the OECD. Therefore, the implementation of the directive has not caused any costs of importance for the Swedish tax authority.It is expected that the Savings Taxation Directive will give rise to increased tax revenues for the Member States whose tax payers invest abroad. However, there is a risk that these savers invest in other products or transfer their assets to states that are not within the scope of the directive in order to avoid taxation. Because of this, we think that the Savings Taxation Directive might be a waste of effort.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Högskolan i Jönköping

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:ec tax law the savings taxation directive identification number of self assessment and statement earnings interest de minimis rule


Date of Publication:06/02/2006

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