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The European Savings Directive

Have you done anything yet about the Directive that comes into force from 1 July? This may affect your savings held in accounts not only in EU countries but also in many established tax havens.

Some countries are offering you the choice to opt for either:

  • Deduction of tax at 15% from interest due to you. In this case information will not be passed to the tax authorities in your country of residence. Tax deducted will increase over time.
  • Information about your savings being passed to the tax authorities in your country of residence. In this case tax will not be deducted at source.

Other countries may be making the choice for you.

Where you have the choice, you should by now have received forms from your savings institutions. If you do not complete and return such a form by 1 July your bank will probably, by default, deduct tax.

The information required of you, if you opt for ‘exchange of information’, is not onerous, but does appear to vary.

If you are EU resident, this may include:

  • Account Number with the Bank or Building Society.
  • Confirmation of your address.
  • Yours signature to a declaration that you are willing for information to be passed to the tax authorities in your country of residence.
  • Your Tax Identification Number (TIN) where this exists.

WARNING! You may still get caught up in the process even if you are not EU resident.

Different jurisdictions seem to be requiring different information from such non-EU residents

  • A tax residence certificate from your country of residence
  • A statement from your financial adviser
  • A copy of a recent tax return


Some banks are allowing you to postpone your receipt of interest payments until a more tax effective time; this may be useful if you are planning a move to a lower taxed country.

You may also be able to get a tax exemption certificate or some other documentation to prove that you are not liable to tax in your country of residence.




Copyright 2004-5 Synapse Ltd. This website is intended to alert you to savings options. In no way does it offer specific investment advice or endorse any of the organisations or products listed. We try to publish accurate and timely information, but do not guarantee to do so. You must check and confirm everything to your satisfaction directly with borrowers. If you see anything missing, inaccurate or non-functioning on the website please let us know.