Portuguese tax authorities to access 50k+ bank accounts

 In News

Portugal’s Finance Minister announced today that Portugal’s tax authorities will have powers to snoop bank accounts with over €50,000.


Finance Minister Mário Centeno,, who is currently the head of Ecofin, the EU’s committee of finance ministers, has proposed an end to bank secrecy which will allow data on bank balances to be available but does not include actual transactional information.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, is said to be in favour of the move proposed at the meeting of the Government cabinet — the Council of Ministers.

“If passed, the banks will have to convey limited but necessary information on bank balances,” said Mário Centeno at a press conference which followed the meeting. “The tax authorities will not gain direct access to accounts and transactions,” he added.

A similar system has already been up and running in countries like the United Kingdom for many years whereby banks have a duty to disclose information on account holders’ balances.

The proposal, likely to be accepted, is aimed at fighting tax fraud, evasion, money laundering and leveraging tax receipts in a bid to combat the country’s long-standing war against the parallel economy which represents around 18-20% of commercial transactions in Portugal.

The proposal was first made in 2016, but the President was not confident at the time that the conditions were in place to ensure the financial stability of the system.