Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation

AuthorRamona Ciobanu
PositionSenior Lecturer PhD
Senior Lecturer PhD Ramona CIOBANU1
The steady mobility of tax payers makes the correct imposing of taxes and revenues difficult,
creating the possibility of double imposing of taxes on revenues and indirectly leads to an increase of
tax evasion, because of these, in the European Union and all member states adopted a series of
measures which can assure the stability of internal markets.
In accordance with the european legislation, the Tax Procedure Code is the one which regulates
the administrative cooperation of Romania and European Union in order the assure a steady flow
and exchange of information concerning taxes and laws aplying in each member states, all these
information is concerned with the taxes at the source.
Keywords: Public Law, Tax Law, administrative cooperation, information exchange, central
liaison office.
1 The premises of administrative cooperation in the field of taxation
Globalization, the mobility of work force, the rising numbers of international
tranzactions and the international means of payment had their positive effects,
such as the growth of investments, the increase of production of goods, the
decrease of unemployment rate, the fast disemination of the results of research and
applied development, the improvement of quality of goods and services, the
fluidity of payments, but beside all of these, there are negative effects as well, such
as double or multiple imposing of taxes and a growth of tax evasion.
For all these motives, inside the universal international organizations or
regional organizations such as United Nations (UN), Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Developement (OECD) and European Union (EU), the member
states had elaborated a sistem of law rules which can stop these negative effects [1].
This concurrent effects has produced a series of conventions models which can
avoid the double imposing of taxes, there are bi-lateral or international agreements
which adopted a series of measures that can provide a fair imposing of taxes upon
tax payers and their assests, in order to avoid tax evasion or double imposing, but
in the same time protecting each state's interest and the interest of tax payers as
Under these circumstances, was adopted the Directive nr 77/799/ CEE of the
Council, concerning reciprocal assistance and aid toward the Authorities of each
1 Transilvania University of Braşov, Faculty of Law, Department of Law, Romania,
Law Review vol. VII, special issue, December 2017, p. 62-73
Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation 63
member state, which deals with the direct tax imposing, and tax insurances, as the
first step in administrative cooperations of states.
The changes which had taken place in the EU, created the circumstances in
which this regulation instruments, has to be changed with a new measures, which
can be applied to all type of taxes, direct and indirect taxes, which are not subjected
to EU legislation, and all these new measures has to assure the efficiency of
administrative cooperation.
In accordance with article nr.113 and article nr.115 of Treaty on the
Functioning of the European Union [2], has been adopted Directive 2011/16/ EU
of the Council of the European Union on administrative cooperation in the field of
taxation and repealing Directive 77/799/CEE, published in the Journal of European
Union nr.L 64/11.03.2011. The Directive intends to create the means and norms
which can create a trustworthy relations among the member states, elaborating
norms, regulations and obligations equaly apliable to all member states. This
Directive represents a new approach, enabling all the states concerned and
providing tools that makes the international cooperation efficient, and in the same
time tempers the negative effects of globalization upon the National markets.
In accordance with article nr.29 of Directive 2011/16/EU, all the member
states have the obligation to adopt and apply all the norms, acts and regulations
enabled with the power of Law and have to apply all the measures provided by
this. It is necessary the direct contact between the national offices responsible of
administrative cooperation of the member states, in order to provide the relevant
informations concerning taxes and exchange of this information, the rule beeing
the direct communication between central liaison offices. The absence of direct
contacts between the offices, leads to ineficiency, the insuficient use of cooperations
and exchange mechanism and a not justifiable delay in transmitting these
informations. In order to achieve this, it is necesary to provide norms to assure a
more efficient and more faster means of cooperation. The distribution of
competences between the connection departments has to be regulated in the
internal laws of each state.
The problems generated by the tax evasion transgressing international
borders, the agressive fiscal planning and unfair fiscal competition has became the
subject of main concern in the EU and worldwide as well. The decrease of fiscal
base reduces with a considerable amount the national income from taxes, thus
preventing the member states to apply a fiscal policy which contributes to
economic growth. In order to solve these obstacles, the means and methods
provided trough Directive 2011/16/EU of the Council of the European Union were
enforced trough the Directive 2015/2376/EU of the Council of the European
Union, which modified Directive 2011/16/EU concerning the mandatory
exchange of informations concerning taxes, bringing in adition a transparency in the
relationship of the administration authorities of each member state of EU.
The activity of multinational companies is in the attention of international
organizations, the European Union’s included. The dimensions of these activities,
their capacity to distort competition, the aggressive fiscal planning of these
companies, in order to avoid taxes on revenues and income, are the reasons why
Directive 2016/881/EU of the Council of the European Union was adopted and
modified Directive 2011/16/EU which concerned the automatic exchange of
informations in all fiscal areas. In acordance with these new Directive, the
multinational enterprise groups (MNE Groups) are obliged to report each year and
for each fiscal jurisdiction under which they operate their activities, their income,
the profits they obtained, previously, the income taxes they have paid or they
accumulated. The MNE Groups should also report: the number of their employees,
their current assets, their operating capital, the accumulated, not distributed
revenues to shareholders, thier non-currents assets they hold under each fiscal
jurisdiction. In the same time, MNE Groups have to identify each entity, member
company of the group and the fiscal jurisdiction they belong and they also are
obliged to provide acces to information concerning the economic activity of each
These information are compiled into a yearly report in each state where the
entity has its activity. These information are used in order to estimate risks of tax
evasion and disobeying laws and regulations, to devise economic analysis and
statistics and is the subject of the automatic exchange of information between the
member states, without transgressing inside trade informations of the company,
production secrets or professional secrets or trade/commercial strategies or any
other informations, that if become public, is in the contrary to public policy of free
information. The Council of the European Union has taken into account the
standards of OECD which prevents the eroding of base taxing and the transfer of
profits [3].
2 The Romanian regulations concerning the administrative cooperation in
the field of taxation
The administrative cooperation concerning the romanian Tax Procedure Code
is forseen in title X, “International aspects”, Chapter I “Administrative cooperation
in the field of taxation”. These regulations represents the adoption and
implementation of Directive 2011/16/EU and all the connected directives in the
romanian Tax Law.
The Tax Procedure Code which forsees the norms and procedures under
whose guidance Romania cooperates with the other member states of EU, and
makes it possible the exchange of informations is predicticably relevant for the
administration and tax imposing under the national laws of each member state
(article 284 line 1) concerning all the types of taxes imposed by the state, central or
local administrative units, that could be, county, district, city or regional
Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation 65
administrtative units or any other authorities who act on behalf of the units
mentioned above (article 285 line 1).
There are exeptions, some categories of taxes such as taxes for certificates and
other documents provided by public authorities, and taxes imposed on public
utilities such as water, electricity (article 285 line 3).
In acordance with article 285 line 2, the dispositions provided by Title X does
not apply to the following :
a) VAT (value added tax), custom fees and excizes which are subjected to
other european norms or regulations concerning the administratice cooperation of
EU member states.
b) Taxes and fees mandatory for national health insurance or any other social
security contributions or any other taxes applied by public authoritiers concerning
social security issues.
The relevant predictibility standard, as it is forseen in european norms and
regulations, has its functions to make it possible the exchange of relevant
informations, in way that the EU member states has no right to ask for
informations concerning a certain entity subject to taxes whose contribution is not
relevant as a tax payer, this way compiling other states to ask for relevant
informations. This standard has its goal to increase efficiency, decrease costs and
improve the efficiency of informational flow.
3 Competent Authority
The competent authority in Romania for assuring these type of information
exchange concerning Taxes among the EU member states and the European
Commission is the National Agency for Tax Administration, short form (ANAF),
an institution which is presided by the Ministry of Public Finances in Romania.
The president of ANAF nominates the central liaison office for information
exchange, and ANAF has the obligation to inform the European Commission
about the central liaison office.
Through the Order nr.353/2013 of the Minstry of Public Finances was created
the Department for International Information Exchange of the ANAF - The General
Department for Information Exchange - beeing the central liaison office for the
administrative cooperation of EU member states.
The Romanian competent authority is the central liaison office who assigns the
conection departments and authorized clerks, the having the responsibility to
make a list of these departments and update this list periodicaly, the list of
authorized clerks as well and make them aviable to the central liaison office and to
all the central liaison office of the other EU member states and to the European
In the case when a department or an authorized clerk gets a request or send a
request or answers a cooperation request, first informs the central liaison office of
Romania, in accordance with the procedures foreseen by the later. In case, when a
department or an authorized clerks gets a request, which is above their
competencies, foreseen by the romanian national laws or regulations, without
further delay they forward this request to the central liaison office of Romania and
informs the requesting authority as well.
4 The cooperation forms in Tax areas
The forms of cooperation in Tax areas are the following: the exchange of
information, the presence of authorized personnel in the administrative
cooperation offices and investigations, simultaneous controls, administrative
notifications, feedback activities, exchange of experience and good practices.
4.1 The exchange of information
In accordance of the Tax Procedure Code, the exchange of information could
be: at request, automatically mandatory and spontaneous.
The information exchange at request is foreseen in the articles 288-290 of the
Tax Procedure Code. Thus, at the request of the authority of another member state,
the romanian competent authority or department provides and gives the requested
information, as it is forseen in article 284, line (1) of Tax Procedure Code, this could
be informations which are aviable or can be obtained through administrative
controls and reports. The requested romanian authority assures and provides the
conditions to make the control and case study in order to get the requested
information. In case that, the romanian competent authority decides, that is not
necessary any other administrative case study, the later informs the requesting
authority of the other member state the motives of its decision. In accordance of
article 286, lit.g, defines the administrative case study as all the controls, gathering of
information and reports and all the other actions of the member states in order to
assure a fair and correct application of the Tax Law. The Tax Procedure Code
forsees in article 290 the terms and conditions of the information exchange at
The automatic mandatory excange of information consists of sistematic
exchamge and communication of pre-defined information to another member
state, without further additional request, at regular intervals, as it is foreseen in
articles 291-2923 of the Tax Procedure Code. The romanian competent authority or
department informs the reciprocal authority of the other member state, trough
automatic exchange of information aviable concerning the taxed intervals begining
with 1st of January 2014, these information concerns the residents of the requesting
state and comprises the following categories revenues and capital, both defined by
the romanian national Laws:
a) yearly income
b) CEO-s and other supervising personels revenues
c) life insurance produts and bonuses, which are not subjected or regulated
by the european laws
Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation 67
d) retirement money
e) assets, fixed and current assets, property rights and such.
The exchange of the information takes place, at least once a year, under the
interval of 6 month after the end of the romanian tax year, trough the time under
which these information are made aviable.
The competent romanian authority can point out to the competent authority to
any other member state the fact that he does not want to receive any information
concerning the above mentioned categories, income and/or capital which are not
surpassing a certain limit defined by the romanian law, and Romania informs on
the European Commission about this.
The romanian competent authority or department informs the European
Commission about all the categories of incomes and capital which are subject of
the romanian Tax Procedure Code and the information aviable and any
modifications brought by or suffered in the meantime. In case, if Romania does not
informs the European Commetee or provides the commetee with the aviable
informations, then automatically will be considered as a state which does not want
to receive this type of information.
In the same time, the romanian Tax Procedure Code regulates the mandatory
reporting of the Reporting Finance Institution to the competent tax authority or
department or institution. The tax authorities collects the data, and the central
liaison office operates and transmits the information collected toward other
member states. This exchange of information takes place yearly, in the interval of 9
months starting with the end of calendar year or other period for reportung which
those information are related or reported.
Thus the Reporting Finance Institution are obliged to apply the reporting norms
and use precaution, those are foreseen in annexes nr.1 and 2 of the Tax Procedure
Code. According to these norms and regulations and using the principle of
precaution, the romanian reporting authority informs the reciprocal reporting
authority of any other member state, trough the automatic mandatory exchange of
information, these information consists of the data starting with 1st of January 2016
and concerns an acount which is subject to reporting [4] as it follows: the identification
data of the resident or company which is subjected to raporting, the account
holder’s name, the account number, the bank’s name or any other institution
which beholds that account, the value of the account, payments, income revenues,
dividents, payments receivable, other revenues or incomes generated by that
account holder, in a period of one calendar year, all these are subject of survey and
raporting by the romanain Reporting Finance Institution.
The term Finance Institution means one institution that is the custody (an
entity wich owes an important part of the subject, such as third party, or insurer or
lender) and beholds an important part of tranzactions acting as an investment
entity or as a specific Insurance company of the beholder.
The term Reporting Finance Institution could be any other romanain financial
institution, which is not a Not Reporting Institution [5], such as (i) any other
finance institution which resides in Romania, but excludes any other office or
representative of the same institution which does not resides in Romania and (ii)
any other representative or office which is abroad, but its main office resides in
In case that Romania signs a treaty with other member states, that will provide
automatic exchange of information concerning incomes and capital, with two or
more member states, then Romania is obliged to inform the European Commission
and this later provides and makes it aviable these information toward other
member states.
In the same time, article 2911 of the Tax Procedure Code, in accordance with
the european norms and regulations, prescribes the mandatory exchange of
information concerning the anticipated tax decisions which are applied abroad or
at the customs and the anticipated agreements concerning transfer-pricing.
In case that the romanian competent authority defines, prescribes or modifies
an anticipated tax decision which concerns taxes and fees at customs and/or across
the borders or an anticipated agreements concerning transfer-pricing after the date
of 31st of December 2016, the authority informs the member states about these
changes trough the automatic mandatory exchange of information and the
European Commission.
The treaties concerning transfer-pricing, bilateral or many sided are
exceptions, they are not subjected to the automatic mandatory exchange of
information, if the international treaty does not allowe these information to become
public to third parties. These information can become public only with the
permission of the third party involved or by the permission of the issuing stat’s
competent authority.
In accordance with article 2912 of the romanian Tax Procedure Code, untill 1st
of January 2018, the romanian central liaison office puts at the disposal of the
European Commission yearly statistics concerning the volume of the automatic
exchange of information, informations concerning residents of the other european
states in Romania, any other informations about anticipated tax decisions which
concerns taxes and fees at customs and/or across the borders or an anticipated
agreements concerning transfer-pricing.
In order to measure the efficiency of this type of administrative cooperation,
the statistics forwarded to the European Commission will comprise, if possible,
informations concerning the costs and benefits of such cooperation between the
states and any other relevant characteristics of the automatic mandatory exchange
of information.
The automatic mandatory exchange of information concerns multinational
enterprise groups (MNE Groups) as well. In accordance with article 2913, the final
mother company of a MNE Group resides or has his main office in Romania, has
Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation 69
the obligation to hand in a report for each member of the Group. The mother
company will forward the reports about the international member companies of
the group to the romanian competent authority and this forward the reports to the
authorities of the country they are residing in and they are subjected to tax
imposing of that country where they reside or they have a permanent office or
representing office.
The spontaneous exchange of information consists of random
communication of data and information in any given moment of time without a
further agreement or treaty toward a member state as it is foreseen in article 292-
293 of the romanian Tax Procedure Code.
The romanian competent authority informs and gives imformation to the
reciprocal competent authority of any other member state under the following
circumstances and condition:
a. the romanain competent authority has proof that indicates the assumption
that there is a tax loss or evasion in another member state;
b. a company or a resident obtains a tax reduction or a tax exception in
Romania, so this way there must be followed by a tax increase in another member
c. a company which is subjected to taxes in Romania that deals with another
company wich resides in another member state, the tax reduction achieved in
Romania leads to the same tax reduction in the other state or in both states or any
given number of states that are involved in these type of tranzactions;
d. the romanian competent authority has proof, that provides the base of an
assumption that there is an artifical transfer of money or capital among the
members of the venture company or international group of companies which leads
to a tax reduction;
e. the information given by the romanian competent authority to another
member state made it possible to obtain important information concerning the
debt of the the tax owed by the company to the second state that he resides in.
The romanian competent authority who holds or it is given this type of
information forwards these types of information to the competent authority of any
other member state who is interested in as soon as possible starting with the data
when this information are made aviable received these information or public. The
romanian competent authority who acknowledges or confirms by electronic
means, that he received these information to the sending authority, without further
delay, which can not exced 7 working days since receiving them.
4.2 The presence of authorized personnel in the administrative cooperation
offices and investigations
Another form of administrative cooperation is foreseen in article 294 of the
romanaian Tax Procedure Code and it consists in the presence of the authorized
clerks, both romanians and clerks of the other member states who are working in
or together with the romanian authorities in case studies and or data gathering and
measuring conducted by the romanian authority. Thus with an agreement between
the requesting authority of a member state and the romanian competent authority,
and under the conditions defined by the later, the authorized clerks of the second
state are allowed to be present in the offices of the romanain authorities and are
allowed to be present or be involved in any case studies or investigations
conducted by the authorities in Romania.
In case that the requested information are in files where the romanian
authorized personnel have acces to it, then the reciprocal authorized personnel of
anu other member state receive a copy of these files. In case that the copying and
giving information is permitted in accordance of the romanian national laws, the
agreement mentioned above also gives the opportunity for the other member
states’ clerks to interview companies or subjects of an investigation case and are
allowed to study ledgers of companies and the information provided by the later.
The refusal of a company or resident subject of an investigation and the denial to
follow the orders of an authorized competent authority of another member state, is
considered as a refusal toward the romanian authorized competent authority as
well and a rejection of the investigation and clerks. The authorized personnel of
another member state who are present in Romania, have the obligation to present
at any given moment their written authorization and empowerment as beeing
official representatives and have to provide their ID as officials.
4.3 Simultaneous controls and investigations
The conditions and circumstances of administrative cooperation during
simultaneous controls and investigations is foreseen by article 295 of the romanian
Tax Procedure Code and consists of simultaneous tax controls made by the
competent authorities of several member states, every authority investigates the
subject residents in the country they represent and who are subjected to common
tax investigations and the data each authority obtained is forwarded to make
public trough mutual exchange of information.
The romanian competent authority identifies independently the subject
(resident or company) of investigation and proposes a simultaneous control and
investigation. The romanian authority sends a notification about the subject
investigated to the other member states involved in the case and proposes a
simultaneous control and the motives of this proposed control as well and the
intervals and lenght of this investigation.
In case that the competent authorities of another member state proposes a
simultaneous control and investigation, the romanian competent authority decides
if he wishes to take part in this simultaneous control or not, and informs the
requesting authority about his decision and sends a written notification about
acceptance or refusal and his motives.
Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation 71
In case of simultaneous control and investigation, the romanian competent
authority assigns an authorized clerk whose is to supervise and to coordinate the
control operations.
4.4 Administrative notifications
The romanian Tax Procedure Code defines trough article 296, the
administrative notification as a means used by the european member states to a
fair apply of the tax law, data collection and a better collection of taxes owed by its
At the request of a competent authority of another member state, the romanian
competent authority forwards all the data, files and papers made by the requesting
states‘ competent authority, which are relevant to the tax imposing on that state
teritory foreseen by article 295. The notification requests defines the subject of the
file and investigation and the decision made by the later, the name and address of
the subject, the country where it resides and any other relevent information which
can be useful to identify the subject of the investigation. The requested competent
romanian authority informs the requesting authority of the other member state,
concerning his decision and also informs de data when that decision was taken, the
subject of that investigation and the notification of that subject.
The romanian requesting authority hands in an aplication for request in
accordance with article 295, only in case that he can’t send in the notification in
accordance with the means used to conduct an investigation in Romania or in the
case if such a notification can create exagerated difficulties. The competent
romanian authority can forward any document trough recomended letters or e-
mails, fax or any other electronic device to the reciprocal authority of anither
member state or authorized personnel who resides in another country.
4.5 Feedback activities
The feedback activities concerns the aknowledgement and usefullness and the
results of the exchanged information and data and are defined by article 297 of the
romanian Tax Procedure Code. Thus, in case that the competent romanian
authority exchanges information at request or spontaneous, the romanian
authority can also ask the reciprocal authority to make aviable the results of their
activity and the usefulness of that information received. In case that the romanian
authority gets such a request, the receiving romanian authority also sends in a
notification or an answer to the request, without causing a data breach or harm
professional or manufacturing secrets, planning strategies or producing injuries to
personal data protection, as they apply in romanian laws, as soon as possible, but
not exceeding the period of 3 months time, starting with the data of aknowledging
the results of the requested informations.
The competent romanian authority notifies yearly about the results of using
the information provided trough the automatic mandatory exchange of
information, in accordance with the bilateral agreement convinied by the states
4.6 The exchange of experience and good practices
The exchange of experience and good practices are obligations foreseen by
article 298 of the romanian Tax Procedure Code, in accordance with the european
norms and regulations. Together with the European Commission and all the other
member states, the competent romanian authority examines and evaluates the
administrative cooperation in applying taxes and exchange of experience in order
to improve the quality of this cooperation, and if it is the case to create together
norms and regulations which can contribute to the improvement and efficiency in
this area.
Together with the European Commission and the other member states, the
competent romanian authority can elaborate guiding lines concerning any aspects
of exchange of experience and good practices needed during the process of
administrative cooperation.
5 Conclusions
The fast dynamic of economics and production, the steady mobility of the
working force, the movement of capital across borders, the international
companies and venture companies, the steady growth in number of these
companies, the measures of efficiency, the growth of profits, incomes, the use of
offshore intermediate companies to avoid taxes or to reduce the extent of taxes, the
optimization and maximalization of income to residents trough tax evasion, made
it imperative the cooperation between the european states to protect the Public
The administrative cooperation in the field of taxation is one of the means used
by the European Union in his strategy to eradicate and diminish tax evasion and to
improve the collection of taxes and other sources to the state‘s budget or public
[1] Ciobanu, R., Şchiopu, S.-D.. Poziia României la Convenia Model OECD
referitoare la impozitul pe venit şi impozitul pe capital (2009). Revista de finane
publice şi contabilitate 2 (2009); Şaguna, D.D. Combaterea evaziunii şi fraudei
fiscale internaionale (2003). Revista de Drept Penal 4 (2003).
[2] In accordance with article nr.113 of Treaty on the Functioning of the
European Union, The Council shall, acting unanimously in accordance with a
special legislative procedure and after consulting the European Parliament and the
Economic and Social Committee, adopt provisions for the harmonisation of
legislation concerning turnover taxes, excise duties and other forms of indirect
Administrative cooperation in the field of taxation 73
taxation to the extent that such harmonisation is necessary to ensure the
establishment and the functioning of the internal market and to avoid distortion of
competition. Also, in accordance with article nr.115 of Treaty on the Functioning of
the European Union, the Council shall, acting unanimously in accordance with a
special legislative procedure and after consulting the European Parliament and the
Economic and Social Committee, issue directives for the approximation of such
laws, regulations or administrative provisions of the Member States as directly
affect the establishment or functioning of the internal market.
[3] On 19 July 2013 the Organisation for Economic Development and
Cooperation (OECD) published its Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting
(BEPS Action Plan), which is a major initiative to modify existing international tax
rules. On 5 October 2015 the OECD presented its final reports, which were
endorsed by the G20 Finance Ministers. During the meeting of 15 and 16
November 2015, the OECD package was also endorsed by the G20 leaders. The
work on Action 13 of the BEPS Action Plan resulted in a set of standards for
providing information for MNE Groups, including the masterfile, the local file and
the country-by-country report. It is therefore appropriate to take into account the
OECD standards when establishing the rules on the country-by-country report.
[4] The term “acount which is subject to reporting” means an account that
belongs to a Reporting Finance Institution, and the holder of the account could be a
resident or a company or companies which is under investigation, under the
condition that the subject investigated was identified as such in accordance with
the Tax Procedure Code.
[5] Not Reporting Finance Institution are those institutions which manage
retirement funds, investments funds, public institutions which get tax exception,
under the circumstances that they represent a low level of risk for tax evasion and
is on the list of institutions that are not reporting institutions and they don’t
represent an entity that produces injuries to the reglementations of chapter X of the
Tax Procedure Code.
[6] The final mother company of a MNE Group is the entithy that created the
MNE Group and respects the criteriae foreseen in Annex 1, section 1, pct.7, Tax
Procedure Code.

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