MEPs have adopted recommendations by the inquiry committee looking into the Panama papers. Its report says that some EU countries have not done enough to tackle tax evasion.

The inquiry committee was established following to release of the Panama papers to assess how transparent the EU and member states were on taxation matters. MEPs adopted the recommendations to properly enforce legislation to tackle tax scheming on 13 December. Find out more in our press release.

 

One of the committee's conclusions is that EU countries need to do more to crack down on tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering. Danish S&D member Jeppe Kofod, one of the report authors, said:  “Some EU members state are very reluctant and very slow to change the laws so that we can avoid tax evasion and money laundering and this is a big problem for the EU and it’s a big problem for the majority of the countries that want to have another agenda."

 

The committee also insists the EU should take the lead in the global fight against tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering. In addition EU countries should exchange more information on tax payers and the ultimate owners of companies (as they can often be registered under another name), while tax authorities should be given additional resources.

 

Permanent investigation

 

The Parliament has a history of investigating revelations about dubious tax scemes, such as Lux leaks, and will continue its fight for a transparent tax system.

 

Czech ALDE member Petr Ježek, one of the other authors of the report, said:  “When we have a look at all the leaks, they show that the system, or the mechanism of how the tax avoidance or tax evasion is done, it’s more or less the same. So if any new leaks come, they provide new names, companies and individuals, but the technique is more or less the same."

 

Parliament is also considering setting up another inquiry committee to look into the Paradise papers as well as setting up a permanent committe after the European elections in 2019.

 

Discover more articles on Parliament's work on taxation.