Tax crimes: special committee calls for a European financial police force

tax haven

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


Parliament’s special tax committee on Wednesday adopted a detailed roadmap towards fairer and more effective taxation, and tackling financial crimes.

The recommendations adopted by the Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) range from overhauling the system for dealing with financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance, notably by thoroughly improving cooperation in all areas between the multitude of authorities involved, to setting up new bodies at the EU and global level.
The numerous findings and recommendations include:

  • Commission to immediately work on a proposal for a European financial police force;
  • An EU anti-money laundering watchdog should be set up;
  • A global tax body should be established within the UN;
  • Great concern about member states’ general lack of political will in Council to tackle tax evasion/avoidance and financial crime;
  • Seven EU countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and The Netherlands) display traits of a tax haven and facilitate aggressive tax planning;
  • Golden visas and passports are problematic and should be phased out;
  • The cum-ex fraud scheme clearly shows that the complexity of tax systems results in legal loopholes and that multilateral, not bilateral, tax treaties are the way forward;
  • Countermeasures should be envisaged against the US if it does not ensure FATCA’s reciprocity;
  • The Council should properly assess the situation in Switzerland in order to ensure that no harmful tax regimes are introduced;
  • ‘Tax good governance’ clauses should be systematically included in new EU agreements with non-EU countries;
  • Whistleblowers and investigative journalists must be much better protected and the US reward system for whistleblowers could be replicated in the EU;
  • Malta and Slovakia must do everything they can to identify the instigators behind the murders of two investigative journalists.

The report was adopted with 34 votes to 4 and 3 abstentions. It will now be passed on to the plenary for approval during the second session of March (25 – 28) in Strasbourg (TBC).
Quotes
The chair of the committee, Petr Ježek (ALDE, CZ), said: “The considerable amount of work achieved by this committee over its twelve-month mandate has shed light on unprecedented issues affecting the banking and financial sectors. The investigations and hearings have helped us draft stronger recommendations, notably on the need to enforce EU AML/CFT legislation better, stricter banking supervision, and enhanced information exchange among FIUs and tax authorities. It is now crucial to maintain pressure for the implementation of our recommendations to the governments and the relevant actors.”
The co-rapporteur, Luděk Niedermayer (EPP, CZ), said: “Recent money laundering cases have shown that we urgently need existing AML rules to be better enforced, dissuasive sanctions and a push for improved cooperation and coordination of relevant authorities within and between Member States as well as an active partnership with the private sector. The Committee calls on the EU to lead the global debate on finding a solution to taxing the digitalized economy and ensuring efficient, transparent and fair tax regimes, while maintaining fair and transparent tax competition.”
The co-rapporteur, Jeppe Kofod (S&D, DK), 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. This creates a string of loopholes, which are far too easy for criminals to abuse to launder vast amounts of money as in the Danske Bank-scandal, or design highly profitable tax theft schemes like CumEx. We need tougher EU-level regulation, harsh sanctions on banks facilitating financial crimes, and a new European financial police within Europol.”
Background
Following continued revelations over the last five years (Luxleaks, the Panama Papers, Football leaks and the Paradise papers), the European Parliament decided to establish a Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3), on 1 March 2018.
The report adopted today concludes the committee’s year-long mandate, which saw it hold 18 hearings dealing with particular topics of interest, 10 exchange of views with finance ministers and European Commissioners, and four fact-finding missions – to the US, the Isle of Man, Denmark and Estonia, and Latvia.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

More than one billion people do not have access to electricity. What will it take to get them connected?

Eurozone: There is a remedy for regional convergence

Libya: UN mobilized to support thousands uprooted by Tripoli clashes, renews call for humanitarian truce

‘Save Tuvalu; save the world’; UN chief echoes rallying cry from front lines of global climate emergency

Smoking VS Vaping: is it a battle?

Citizens to be the cornerstone of the Conference on the Future of Europe

Dreaming of China

The G7 should take the lead on ocean targets for 2020

Hospitals among seven health centres attacked in Syria’s north-east

Greece did it again

Forests ‘essential’ for the future, UN agriculture chief spells out in new report

Electronic Cigarettes: A booster or alternative to Smoking?

Eurozone to enter the winter…

Schools in Florida now have to teach mental and emotional health

Where is heading Putin’s Russia?

ECB: Reaching the limits of its mandate to revive the Eurozone economy

“Unequivocal support” for the people of Bulgaria in their legitimate demands

3 ways to nurture collaboration between universities and industry

Theresa May’s global Britain against Philip Hammond’s Brexit fog

Discussions kick off among MEPs and national MPs on economic governance

Amazon indigenous groups want to create a nature sanctuary the size of Mexico

Brexit and migration dominates the debate on October’s EU summit

Further reforms in Japan needed to meet the challenges of population ageing and high public debt

FROM THE FIELD: Faces and Voices of Conflict

The power of partnership: joining forces to fight financial crime

Western Balkans: MEPs take stock of 2018 progress

Sweden must urgently implement reforms to boost fight against foreign bribery

JADE at European Business Summit 2015

UN rights expert calls for end to ‘purgatory’ of ‘international inaction’ facing Myanmar’s remaining Rohingya

Roxane in Cambodia

Future of our planet hinges on action by today’s youth – UN deputy chief

3 ways the coronavirus is affecting animals around the world

Four million Syrian children have only known war since birth: UNICEF

Trade in fake Italian goods costs economy billions of euros

€200 million to promote European agri-food products in and outside the EU

Africa must ‘value youth’ in the drive towards lasting peace, young envoy tells Security Council

UNICEF urges ‘transformative shift’ in family-friendly work policies to reap ‘huge’ benefits

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

How 5G can connect the affordable homes of the future

Mali just took a huge step towards universal healthcare

IMF: How To Deal With Failed Banks

Coronavirus: the truth against the myths: Lockdown by a novel coronavirus, named 2019-nCoV

How technology is leading us to new climate change solutions

Ukraine-EU deal sees the light but there’s no defeat for Russia

Globalization 4.0 must build a better world for working people

World in grip of ‘high impact weather’ as US freezes, Australia sizzles, parts of South America deluged

Parliament elects the von der Leyen Commission

Mental health of health professionals: the alter ego

From his room with a view, UN chief takes to Instagram with an eye on hope and a brighter future

Yemen: UN envoy asks Security Council for more support ‘to move back’ to the negotiating table

Cum-ex tax fraud scandal: MEPs call for inquiry, justice, and stronger tax authorities

Google case: A turning point in competition rules enforcement

State aid: Commission approves €840 million German guarantee scheme to protect consumers and support the travel industry in the context of the coronavirus outbreak

New OECD work to support citizen engagement with governments

Ministers for Youth miss the opportunity to improve social inclusion of young people

Genocide threat for Myanmar’s Rohingya greater than ever, investigators warn Human Rights Council

MEPs boost support for EU research and Erasmus

Virtual Doctor: a core part of modern healthcare?

GSMA Mobile World Congress Americas

Future of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh ‘hangs in the balance’ – UNHCR chief

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s