On the 11 March 2014 the European Commission issued a statement indicating that a stronger Savings Directive is crucial for the EU to better identify and chase tax evaders and to close loopholes which evaders are exploiting. The Savings Directive has acquired a new significance in the last 12 months and is to form part of the legislative framework for applying the new global standard of automatic exchange of information within the EU.
The aim of the Savings Directive is to tackle cross-border tax evasion by creating an information exchange system for tax authorities to help identify individuals that receive savings income in a member state other than their own. In 2008 the Commission proposed a revision of the Directive to extend its scope to cover investment funds, pensions and innovative financial instruments. In 2013 the Commission proposed extending the automatic exchange of information between EU tax administrations to cover all forms of financial income and account balances.
On 24 March 2014 after six years of discussion the Savings Directive was formally adopted by the Member States of the EU. When implemented, the amending Directives will broaden the circumstances in which details of payments must be provided or tax withheld.