Seven EU states found to act like tax havens
While the European Union ponders blacklisting Bermuda, a committee of the European Parliament has found that a quarter of the EU's member states behave like tax havens.
The special tax committee, compiled by MEPs from across the political spectrum after a year-long investigation, named Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and The Netherlands as countries that “display traits of a tax haven and facilitate aggressive tax planning”.
The committee's finding will add pressure on institutions such as the EU Council and the European Commission, which have not acknowledged that any member states are tax havens.
The parliamentary committee, known as the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance, made a series of recommendations including that a global tax body should be established within the United Nations. It also calls for a European financial police force and an EU anti-money laundering watchdog.
The committee was formed a year ago as concerns mounted in the light of reports including those known as LuxLeaks, the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers.
Committee member Jeppe Kofod said: “Europe has a serious money laundering and tax fraud problem. We have the world's largest, richest and most integrated single market with free movement of capital, but little to no effective cross-border supervision and 28 differing national anti-money laundering and anti-tax fraud provisions.”
As reported in The Royal Gazette yesterday, EU envoys were scheduled to agree yesterday on a new, expanded blacklist of jurisdictions deemed non-co-operative on tax matters, which will then be formally adopted by EU finance ministers in a meeting on March 12.
Reuters reported that Bermuda is on the draft list, but that EU states are still considering whether the island will be included on the new blacklist.