Berlin (MTI) – On behalf of the Hungarian government Mihaly Varga, the economy minister, signed an international agreement in Berlin facilitating the exchange of tax-related information, on Wednesday.

The agreement, signed by representatives of 51 countries at OECD’s global forum on transparency and tax data sharing, is “a milestone in the fight against tax evasion,” Varga told MTI after the signing ceremony.

The minister added that Hungary’s budget revenues could increase to tens of billions of forints once the agreed international cooperation is put in place.

Signatories to the agreement will automatically share certain tax-related information concerning both private individuals and companies, Varga said. He added that the automatic exchange will start in September 2017.

Hungary has a similar agreement with the US, the minister said. The new system is an efficient tool in fighting tax evasion and tax fraud and makes crossborder financial activities more transparent. “If someone opens a bank account in Austria and deposits “money from dubious sources” the bank will automatically inform the home country, Varga explained, referring to ex-Socialist offical Gabor Simon’s case who became disgraced after being exposed with undeclared assets. From 2017 on, banks will have a tool to easily screen their clients’ assets, he added.

In a statement, the economy ministry said that the automatic sharing of invoicing information will be instrumental in international tax fraud, which will also make it simple to monitor deposits in foreign banks.

At the signing ceremony, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that the launch of the new system would be the most efficient measure to create financial transparency.



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