Austria’s Spindelegger Says Savings-Tax Deal Up to Luxembourg

Austrian Finance Minister Michael Spindelegger said a deal on extending a European Union savings tax is in Luxembourg’s hands.

Austria “can agree to this tomorrow -- it’s not up to us if there isn’t agreement,” Spindelegger told reporters before a two-day meeting with his European Union counterparts in Brussels today. “It’s up to Luxembourg.”

The proposed agreement aims to set standards for how countries can collect information on income that their residents earn from savings held in other nations. It will require all EU nations to take part in information exchanges after a transition period.

A spokeswoman for Luxembourg’s Finance Ministry declined to comment.

EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta will tomorrow present an update on negotiations with Switzerland and four other non-EU countries bordering on the 28-nation bloc. Austria and Luxembourg have wanted those talks to conclude before signing off on the updated savings-tax pact.

“Great progress has been made,” Semeta said in a March 4 letter to the ministers to prepare for this week’s meetings. “Our interlocutors have accepted that we must all now focus on automatic exchange of information and that the global push in this direction will provide an answer to concerns about the level playing fields.”

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