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EU listing of tax havens

21-10-2019

Broadly speaking, 'tax havens' provide taxpayers, both legal and natural persons, with opportunities for tax evasion or avoidance, while their secrecy and opacity also serves to disguise the origins of the proceeds of illegal and criminal activities. One might ask why establishing a list of tax havens or high-risk countries is useful. Drawing up such lists began with action to end harmful tax practices arising from the discrepancy between the global reach of financial flows and the geographically ...

Broadly speaking, 'tax havens' provide taxpayers, both legal and natural persons, with opportunities for tax evasion or avoidance, while their secrecy and opacity also serves to disguise the origins of the proceeds of illegal and criminal activities. One might ask why establishing a list of tax havens or high-risk countries is useful. Drawing up such lists began with action to end harmful tax practices arising from the discrepancy between the global reach of financial flows and the geographically limited scope of jurisdictions that match or exist inside national borders. However we refer to tax havens, they all have one thing in common: they allow individuals or organisations to escape from taxation. Distinctive characteristics of tax havens include low or zero taxation, fictitious residences (with no bearing on reality) and tax secrecy. The latter two are key methods for hiding ultimate beneficial owners. In the EU, the process of adopting a common list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions was initiated as part of efforts to further good tax governance, and its external dimension. On 5 December 2017, the Council adopted a first common list resulting from the assessment of third countries against distinctive criteria. Pursuing the assessment process, the Council has updated the list on the basis of commitments received, while also reviewing countries that had not yet been assessed. This briefing updates an earlier one, from May 2018 – itself an updated and extended version of a briefing from December 2017: ‘Understanding the rationale for compiling “tax haven” lists', PE 614.633 – to take account of the changes in the lists since that date.

Public country-by-country reporting by multinational enterprises

26-04-2019

Tax transparency has gained particular importance as a tool in the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion, particularly in the field of corporate income tax and aggressive tax planning. Cooperation between tax authorities aims at allowing them to obtain information covering the global business of multinational enterprises (MNEs), and progress has already been made in this area. A further step in tax transparency would be to broaden it by providing publicly available information relating to tax ...

Tax transparency has gained particular importance as a tool in the fight against tax avoidance and tax evasion, particularly in the field of corporate income tax and aggressive tax planning. Cooperation between tax authorities aims at allowing them to obtain information covering the global business of multinational enterprises (MNEs), and progress has already been made in this area. A further step in tax transparency would be to broaden it by providing publicly available information relating to tax paid at the place where profits are actually made. Public country-by-country reporting (CBCR) is the publication of a defined set of facts and figures by large MNEs, thereby providing the public with a global picture of the taxes MNEs pay on their corporate income. The proposal is being considered by the European Parliament (EP) and the Council. In the EP, the amendments put forward by the ECON and JURI committees were voted on 4 July 2017. In the absence of a Council position enabling negotiations on the proposal, the Parliament adopted its position at first reading in plenary on 27 March 2019. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

TAX3 Special Committee report

20-03-2019

The European Parliament's Special Committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (TAX3) was set up in March 2018 to build on and complement the work carried out in the EP since 2014. Its report, submitted for debate during the European Parliament's March II plenary session, takes stock of the continued topicality of these issues and of the progress made, as well as the remaining work ahead to fight financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance. It also paves the way for further monitoring ...

The European Parliament's Special Committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (TAX3) was set up in March 2018 to build on and complement the work carried out in the EP since 2014. Its report, submitted for debate during the European Parliament's March II plenary session, takes stock of the continued topicality of these issues and of the progress made, as well as the remaining work ahead to fight financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance. It also paves the way for further monitoring and follow-up actions.

The supervisory approach to anti-money laundering: an analysis of the Joint Working Group’s reflection paper

14-11-2018

On August 31 2018, a Joint Working Group consisting of representatives of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the European Supervisory Agencies published a document entitled ‘Reflection paper on possible elements of a Roadmap for seamless cooperation between Anti Money Laundering and Prudential Supervisors in the European Union’. The reflection paper straightforwardly calls for additional resources to be made available to the European Banking Authority to counter money laundering ...

On August 31 2018, a Joint Working Group consisting of representatives of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the European Supervisory Agencies published a document entitled ‘Reflection paper on possible elements of a Roadmap for seamless cooperation between Anti Money Laundering and Prudential Supervisors in the European Union’. The reflection paper straightforwardly calls for additional resources to be made available to the European Banking Authority to counter money laundering. Suggestions for better cooperation and information sharing among anti-money laundering and prudential supervisors, however, risk being ineffective, as long as the underlying incentives to engage in international regulatory competition towards low enforcement of anti-money laundering standards are not addressed. To eliminate the potential for regulatory competition, anti-money laundering supervision needs to be raised to a European level.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

H.Huizinga

Money laundering and tax evasion risks in free ports

17-10-2018

Freeports are conducive to secrecy. In their preferential treatment, they resemble offshore financial centres, offering both high security and discretion and allowing transactions to be made without attracting attention of regulators and direct tax authorities. This study argues that the legal anti-money laundering and tax evasion framework in place in the EU (and elsewhere) is only partially effective in combatting money laundering and tax evasion.

Freeports are conducive to secrecy. In their preferential treatment, they resemble offshore financial centres, offering both high security and discretion and allowing transactions to be made without attracting attention of regulators and direct tax authorities. This study argues that the legal anti-money laundering and tax evasion framework in place in the EU (and elsewhere) is only partially effective in combatting money laundering and tax evasion.

An overview of shell companies in the European Union

17-10-2018

In April 2018, the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) requested a study on shell companies in the EU. In response to this request, the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) and the European Added Value Unit (EAVA) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) prepared this study. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of shell companies in the European Union. In particular, it approaches the issue through ...

In April 2018, the European Parliament's Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) requested a study on shell companies in the EU. In response to this request, the Ex-Post Evaluation Unit (EVAL) and the European Added Value Unit (EAVA) of the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) prepared this study. The study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon of shell companies in the European Union. In particular, it approaches the issue through a set of ‘proxy’ indicators at a member state level. It proceeds by presenting main risks associated with the shell companies. Finally, if presents policies aiming at mitigating these identified risks.

Virtual currencies in the Eurosystem: challenges ahead

16-07-2018

Speculation on Bitcoin, the evolution of money in the digital age, and the underlying blockchain technology are attracting growing interest. In the context of the Eurosystem, this briefing paper analyses the legal nature of privately issued virtual currencies (VCs), the implications of VCs for central bank’s monetary policy and monopoly of note issue, and the risks for the financial system at large. The paper also considers some of the proposals concerning central bank issued virtual currencies. ...

Speculation on Bitcoin, the evolution of money in the digital age, and the underlying blockchain technology are attracting growing interest. In the context of the Eurosystem, this briefing paper analyses the legal nature of privately issued virtual currencies (VCs), the implications of VCs for central bank’s monetary policy and monopoly of note issue, and the risks for the financial system at large. The paper also considers some of the proposals concerning central bank issued virtual currencies. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Rosa María LASTRA, Jason Grant ALLEN

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain

05-07-2018

More and more regulators are worrying about criminals who are increasingly using cryptocurrencies for illegitimate activities like money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion. The problem is significant: even though the full scale of misuse of virtual currencies is unknown, its market value has been reported to exceed EUR 7 billion worldwide. This paper prepared by Policy Department A elaborates on this phenomenon from a legal perspective, focusing on the use of cryptocurrencies for financial ...

More and more regulators are worrying about criminals who are increasingly using cryptocurrencies for illegitimate activities like money laundering, terrorist financing and tax evasion. The problem is significant: even though the full scale of misuse of virtual currencies is unknown, its market value has been reported to exceed EUR 7 billion worldwide. This paper prepared by Policy Department A elaborates on this phenomenon from a legal perspective, focusing on the use of cryptocurrencies for financial crime, money laundering and tax evasion. It contains policy recommendations for future EU standards.

Ulkopuolinen laatija

Prof. Dr. Robby HOUBEN and Alexander SNYERS, University of Antwerp, Research Group Business & Law, Belgium

Tax transparency for intermediaries

03-07-2018

The situations highlighted by the ‘Panama papers’ and ‘Paradise papers’, among others leaks show how certain intermediaries and other providers of tax advice appear to have facilitated companies and individuals in avoiding taxation, often through complex cross-border schemes involving routing assets to, or through, offshore entities. Among the tools to fight tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning are established mechanisms for disclosure of tax information and publication of tax-relevant information ...

The situations highlighted by the ‘Panama papers’ and ‘Paradise papers’, among others leaks show how certain intermediaries and other providers of tax advice appear to have facilitated companies and individuals in avoiding taxation, often through complex cross-border schemes involving routing assets to, or through, offshore entities. Among the tools to fight tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning are established mechanisms for disclosure of tax information and publication of tax-relevant information by companies. In June 2017, the Commission adopted a proposal aimed at ensuring early information on such situations, by setting an obligation to report cross-border arrangements designed by tax intermediaries or taxpayers and by including the information collected in the automatic exchange of information between tax authorities within the European Union. The directive was adopted on 25 May 2018, and it is to be applied from 1 July 2020. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Stronger administrative cooperation in the VAT field

02-07-2018

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for both national governments and the European budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is vulnerable to fraud. Moreover, businesses doing cross-border trade face much higher compliance costs than those only trading domestically. The administrative burden for national tax administrations is also excessive ...

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for both national governments and the European budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is vulnerable to fraud. Moreover, businesses doing cross-border trade face much higher compliance costs than those only trading domestically. The administrative burden for national tax administrations is also excessive. The reform of the system is planned in several consecutive steps and will take some years. In the meantime, the present proposal will change the VAT Administrative Cooperation Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 904/2010). It introduces the concept of the 'certified taxable person' in the VAT Information Exchange System and addresses three types of cross-border fraud: carousel fraud, used car fraud and VAT-free import fraud.

Tulevat tapahtumat

20-02-2020
What is our political nature? Knowledge and reason in political decision-making
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EPRS

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