European committee examining Paradise Papers
Information from the Paradise Papers is to be examined by a European Parliament committee.
The 45-member special committee has been created to focus on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance. Among areas it will examine is how European Union value added tax rules “were circumvented in the framework of the Paradise Papers and to evaluate in a more general way the impact of VAT fraud and administrative co-operation rules in the Union”.
Millions of documents stolen from offshore law firm Appleby became known as the Paradise Papers and were mined for stories of tax avoidance by global media last year.
Beyond the Paradise Papers, the European Parliament's special, temporary committee will also “analyse and assess the third-country dimension in tax avoidance practices, including the impact on developing countries; to monitor improvements and existing gaps in the exchange of information with third countries in this respect, with particular attention to be given to the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories”.
In a statement released by the European Parliament, the committee's mandate is said to include examining “national schemes providing tax privileges”, VAT fraud and the problems of ensuring tax compliance in the digital economy.
The special inquiry will hold its first gathering on March 22 when members are expected to select a chairperson and officers. The committee's 45 seats are distributed roughly in proportion to the political representation within the European Parliament. The committee has a 12-month mandate.