On 13 March 2018 agreement was reached at ECOFIN level regarding proposed transparency rules for tax intermediaries designing/selling potentially harmful tax schemes.
The new transparency rules had been proposed in June 2017 by the European Commission as part of its agenda to enhance tax transparency in the EU to tackle tax abuse and ensure fairer taxation. The agreement reached at EU level follows respective recommendation at OECD level (from 9 March 2018).
The obligations established are addressed to tax intermediaries, including firms or persons, such as consulting firms, banks, lawyers, tax advisors, accountants, etc. which can help their clients to set up schemes to reduce their tax bills.
Such intermediaries will have to report any cross-border arrangement that contains one or more of certain characteristics specified in the new rules (hallmarks). The hallmarks are in essence indicators that given arrangement is set up to avoid paying taxes.
The new reporting requirements will enter into force on 1 July 2020. Member States shall exchange information every 3 months, starting from 31st October 2020.
For further information, please refer to the relevant webpage of the Commission (DG TAXUD): Link