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Parliamentary questions
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23 February 2017
Answer given by Mr Moscovici on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: E-009441/2016

The Commission itself does not have any investigative powers. Investigation and prosecution of individual tax cases are a matter for Member States. The Commission continues to encourage Member States to act with determination on all identified cases of tax fraud or tax evasion.

The EU is taking major steps to increase transparency and to tackle tax evasion both at EU and at international level. This includes the automatic exchange of financial account information and access to beneficial ownership information by tax authorities pursuant to the directive on Administrative Cooperation, and the setting-up of beneficial ownership registries, coming into effect under the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which will help Member States identify who ultimately benefits from a particular transaction.

The Commission has also proposed possible further steps to increase transparency in the targeted review of the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive. Moreover, Member States are currently working to set up, by the end of 2017, the first common EU list of third country jurisdictions which do not respect international tax good governance standards.

All these initiatives place the EU in the vanguard of international developments in tackling tax evasion and the Commission makes every effort possible to promote the adoption of these principles on a worldwide basis.

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