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Parliamentary questions
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1 December 2016
Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-007427/2016

The directive on Administrative Cooperation in Tax Matters (2011/16/EU), as revised by Directive 2014/107/EU, provides for the comprehensive automatic exchange of financial account information, and includes specific provisions for the identification of the individuals behind intermediary structures. This should be effective in tackling the sort of abuse revealed in the mentioned document leak. However, the directive only entered into force in January 2016, with the first exchanges of information only taking place by September 2017. Therefore, although a significant step forward, its effectiveness cannot be evaluated yet.

In the meantime, as explained in its communication of 5 July 2016 on further measures to enhance transparency and the fight against tax evasion and avoidance(1), the Commission has proposed further enhancements to the directive for a better monitoring on the information to be exchanged, and has also issued a proposal to amend the 4th Anti-money laundering Directive (2015/849/EU) and the First Company Law Directive (2009/101/EC) with a view to enhancing transparency in financial transactions.

The amendments proposed seek to further improve and reinforce the legal and practical tools made available to the authorities in their fight against tax fraud and tax evasion. In addition, a consultation is currently running to gather views on the best possible approach for increasing oversight of tax planning and ensuring that effective disincentives apply for promoters and enablers of aggressive schemes.

The Commission counts on the strong support of the European Parliament on these important files.

(1)COM(2016) 451 final.

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