Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

DAC 6 delayed (a bit)

printer Mail

On 8 May, the European Commission proposed amendments to 2011/16 Directive on Administrative Cooperation in the field of taxation (commonly referred to as ‘DAC’). The proposed amendments seek to defer certain tax filing and exchange of information deadlines, to ameliorate the disruptive impact of Covid-19.


On 20 April, several trade associations, including the European Banking Federation and EFAMA, lodged a joint letter calling on the European Commission to postpone DAC 6 reporting deadlines until 2021. The letter noted that ‘the late enactment of domestic legislation by many member states and the lack of detailed guidance and reporting schema details, and the difference of interpretation of key notions between member states, timely implementation of the DAC 6 reporting obligations was already challenging. This has now only been exacerbated by the pandemic.’

The European Commission has responded sympathetically to the Covid-19 concerns raised by the trade associations. During an informal meeting on 29 April, all EU member states indicated their willingness to defer the filing and exchange of information requirements under DAC. It was noted that the OECD’s Global Forum had already approved the extension of September 2020 CRS exchange deadline to the end of December 2020.

The proposed amendments will come into force the day after their publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Member states will then have until 31 May 2020 to comply. 

Proposed delay

  • The deadline for the exchange of information between member states’ tax authorities in respect of reportable financial accounts under DAC 2 is extended by 3 months, i.e. until 31 December 2020.
  • First exchange of information on reportable cross-border arrangements between member states’ tax authorities under DAC 6 will shift from 31 October 2020 to 31 January 2021.
  • The 30-day period for the reporting of cross-border arrangements which under DAC 6 was due to commence on 1 July 2020 will shift to 1 October 2020.
  • The DAC 6 reporting date for ‘historical’ cross-border arrangements (i.e. those between 25 June 2018 to 30 June 2020) will shift from 31 August 2020 to 30 November 2020.

Given the current uncertainties, should the severe disruptions persist, the amendments provide for the European Commission, under delegated authority, to further extend the deferral period for the filing and exchange of information.


The proposals state that the DAC is of critical importance in the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion. In the aftermath of Covid-19, member states will be relying on tax receipts.

The European Commission describes its proposals as a ‘limited duration’ proportionate measure, adjusting the calendar for filing and transmitting of some tax data, to address practical difficulties. These proposals do not change the fundamental requirement for institutions to be DAC 6 compliant. The proposals repeatedly emphasise that the extension should not disturb the ‘established structure and functioning’ of DAC.

The European Commission describes its proposals as a ‘limited duration’ proportionate measure [which does] not change the fundamental requirement for institutions to be DAC 6 compliant 

The next step will be for member states to change their domestic filing deadlines for reporting institutions, given the additional 12 weeks to exchange the information with the other member states’ tax authorities. 

For DAC 6 intermediaries, whilst the deferral is to be welcomed, it does not significantly affect the fundamental requirement to become DAC 6 compliant, it will merely defer the timing of the reports. Importantly, the extensions do not remove the requirement to perform a historical review going back to 25 June 2018 and the need to introduce systems to detect, capture and report arrangements going forward. 

In the UK, HMRC has circulated its latest DAC 6 guidance in draft form and requested comments by 15 May 2020. This latest draft incorporates most of the changes highlighted in the previous round of consultation.