Briefing 
 

"Panama Papers" tax scandal debate 

The “Panama Papers” revelations about more than 200,000 offshore companies and their secret owners, including many politicians and celebrities, will be debated with the Commission and Council on Tuesday afternoon. The key question: Are existing EU measures against tax evasion and money laundering working?

 

 

The Panama Papers were revealed by the International Consortium for Investigative Journalism, the organisation behind the so-called “Luxleaks” corporate tax scandal of 2014. “LuxLeaksdrew up a long list of legal recommendations for fairer and more transparent tax policies in the EU.

 

Registering beneficial ownership


Thanks to Parliament, mandatory registration of beneficial owners of companies became part of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive which Parliament approved in May 2015 (deadline for transposition is 26 June 2017). Although not public, this information must be made accessible for competent authorities (tax, law enforcement) and “persons with a legitimate interest”.


 

Background on Panama Papers

 

The Panama Papers are a leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents that provide detailed information about more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca, including the identities of shareholders and directors of the companies. The documents show how wealthy individuals, including public officials, hide their money from public scrutiny.


Procedure: Commission and Council statements

Debate: Tuesday, 12 April

 

#PanamaPapers #LuxLeaks #TaxTransparency #TaxFairness