On 13 March 2018, the EU Council agreed to a measure to require the mandatory disclosure by intermediaries to their local tax authorities of certain cross-border tax planning arrangements.

An “intermediary” for these purposes is anyone with an EU taxable presence (or EU professional services registration) who designs, markets, organises or makes available for implementation or manages the implementation of a “reportable” cross-border arrangement. Taxpayers may also be caught by the new rules as the term extends to anyone who knows, or could reasonably be expected to know, that they have undertaken to provide (directly or indirectly) aid, assistance or advice with respect to designing, marketing, organising, making available for implementation or managing the implementation of a reportable cross-border arrangement.

The new rules are similar to the UK's existing “DOTAS”19 regime as, for the cross-border arrangement to be “reportable”, a specified “hallmark” must exist.

The new rules must be implemented by member states by 31 December 2019, to be applied from 1 July 2020. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit casts doubt as to whether the UK will impose these new rules, although the UK has been a vocal supporter of the OECD work in this area.

The Council announcement can be viewed here.