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Germany and The Netherlands have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the spontaneous exchange of information with respect to tax rulings

On July 14, 2015 the Dutch Ministry of Finance published a press release announcing that  the Netherlands and Germany signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the spontaneous exchange of information with respect to cross border tax rulings including rulings with respect to patent boxes.

According to the press release the Netherlands and Germany want to be completely transparent with respect to agreements reached between the tax authorities and businesses that have consequences for the other country. Therefore the tax authorities of both countries will actively and spontaneously exchange information with each other via the competent authorities.

Agreements regarding the initiative were put down in writing in a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreements regard the intensified spontaneous exchange of information between the two countries. Therefore it is not necessary that either country first files a request for information. Both countries will actively consult their files and forward the information to the other country on their own initiative. In the press release it is emphasized that the system the Netherlands and Germany are going to use is not yet the automatic exchange of information that is currently being discussed at an EU-level.

The memorandum of understanding applies to tax rulings granted from January 1st, 2015 onwards. It is not clear whether the memorandum of understanding also applies to tax rulings which were concluded in 2014 but which enter into force in 2015 or later. However upon mutual agreement between the countries information exchange may also cover tax rulings from prior years.

Please do not hesitate to contact Innovative Tax BV in case of questions about the above.

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Erik Jansen

20 July 2015


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