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Portugal publishes decree vetoing tax services' access to bank accounts holding over 50,000 euros

Xinhua, October 12, 2016 Adjust font size:

Portugal on Tuesday published a decree which vetoes tax services' access to bank accounts holding more than 50,000 euros (about 55,500 U.S. dollars), Lusa News Agency reported.

The decree which aims to put an end to bank secrecy for residents with bank accounts holding more than 50,000 euros had been approved in a council of ministers meeting on Sept. 8.

However, Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa vetoed the decree last month, pointing out that it would "politically inopportune" to approve it due to the country's current financial climate.

He said it was inopportune due to the country's ongoing efforts to consolidate the banking system, and due to the risk of affecting the confidence of depositors and investors.

Rebelo de Sousa said there were numerous way the tax authorities could access information blocked by bank secrecy without depending on judicial authorisation.

He explained the country can still access information regarding residents' bank accounts if there is suspicion of tax fraud, false tax returns or new assets which have not been declared.

The government said it was aware of the current economic conditions that led to the president's decision and said it would reach final conclusion when such circumstances have been overcome, in order to facilitate combating fraud and fiscal evasion. Endit