On 6 October 2015, the EU Finance Ministers reached political agreement in the Council to amend Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. The revised directive will require member states to automatically exchange a basic set of information on advance cross-border tax rulings (rulings) and advance pricing arrangements (APAs), both of which are defined broadly.
The exchange of information will apply to both new and previously concluded rulings and APAs. For new rulings and APAs (i.e. as from 1 January 2017), member states must send information within three months after the end of the half of the calendar year during which the ruling or APA is issued, amended or renewed. For rulings and APAs issued before 1 January 2017, a five-year look-back will apply. Member states may exclude rulings and APAs issued to companies with annual net turnover of less than €40 million at a group level, if such rulings and APAs were issued, amended, or renewed before 1 April 2016. This exemption will not apply to companies conducting mainly financial or investment activities.
The directive will include detailed provisions and will be adopted at a forthcoming Council meeting, expected to take place in December 2015.
More information about the agreement on automatic exchange of information with regard to rulings and APAs can be found here.