The directive will require member states to provide access to information on the beneficial ownership of companies. It will enable tax authorities to access that information in monitoring the proper application of rules on the automatic exchange of tax information. It will thus help prevent tax evasion and tax fraud. The directive will apply as from 1 January 2018. It is one of a number of measures set out by the Commission in July 2016, in the wake of the April 2016 Panama Papers revelations.