The Impact of Schemes revealed by the Panama Papers on the Economy and Finances of a Sample of Member States

03-04-2017

Upon request by the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion (PANA Committee), this study assesses the impacts of the schemes revealed by the Panama Papers, a set of documents leaked from the law firm Mossack Fonseca detailing tax evasion and avoidance practices, and published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in April 2016. The study explores the concepts and roles of tax havens and offshore financial centres, their budgetary, and the economic and financial impacts in a sample of EU Member States. The research combined previous estimates of tax revenue loss with a microeconomic assessment based on data on companies that are thought to be linked to the Panama Papers schemes. The most significant impacts identified are the negative effects on Member States’ budgets, with wider knock-on effects on economic growth and financial markets. It is recommended that further steps are taken at the national, EU and international levels to increase transparency of corporate and individual taxation and to limit the scope for tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Upon request by the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion (PANA Committee), this study assesses the impacts of the schemes revealed by the Panama Papers, a set of documents leaked from the law firm Mossack Fonseca detailing tax evasion and avoidance practices, and published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) in April 2016. The study explores the concepts and roles of tax havens and offshore financial centres, their budgetary, and the economic and financial impacts in a sample of EU Member States. The research combined previous estimates of tax revenue loss with a microeconomic assessment based on data on companies that are thought to be linked to the Panama Papers schemes. The most significant impacts identified are the negative effects on Member States’ budgets, with wider knock-on effects on economic growth and financial markets. It is recommended that further steps are taken at the national, EU and international levels to increase transparency of corporate and individual taxation and to limit the scope for tax evasion and tax avoidance.

External author

Jack Malan, Roland Blomeyer, Jan Smit, Dr William Vlcek, Dr. Petr Jansky, Danuše Nerudová’s, Anna Maria Krarup, Mike Beke, Mark Whittle, Carolin Moeller, Elsa Perreau, Stephan Kreutzer, David Buck