The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

The European Parliament once more honored its role as the authentic exponent of the will of the European citizens. Last Tuesday it dismissed as a “missed opportunity” the EU Council’s decision to water down the mandatory exchange of the ‘tax rulings’ between member states. A ‘tax ruling’ is a special taxation arrangement accorded to a […]

The EU to fight cross-border tax evasion with a toothless directive

On Tuesday 6 October the powerful Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the European Union, the well know ECOFIN group, took a decision advertised to be monumental. For the first time ever the 28 EU countries agreed to shed some light on the ‘tax rulings’, as well as at the ‘advance pricing arrangements’. These are […]

Benjamin Franklin was wrong: Amazon can tax evade

“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”, Benjamin Franklin said back in the 18th century. Three hundred years later in principle it maintains validity, when it comes to the former. Of course for most developed societies tax is a de facto obligation of the citizen. Most of us we […]

EU Parliament: Follow the fraudulent money and confiscate it

In two parallel actions the European Parliament approved, with stormy majorities, two draft laws; one against money laundering and one more to facilitate the confiscation of fraudulently acquired assets. In the first case, the Economic Affairs and the Justice and Home Affairs committees amended a Commission proposal to list in public registers the ultimate owners […]

ECOFIN: Protecting bankers and tax-evaders

It is customary for the European Union, when the club cannot arrive at a decision acceptable by everybody, the outcome is a distorted compromise. Of course, the burning issue of the resolution of failing banks could not depart from this rule yesterday at the ECOFIN Council, with the 28 ministers of Finance discussing this issue […]

The Commission unsuccessfully pretends to want curbing of tax evasion

The European Commission, after having facilitated for decades the tax avoidance and evasion practices of multinationals with the ‘Parent-Subsidiary Directive’, yesterday decided to just reduce the size of the extra-large loop holes the big multinationals use for years to avoid and evade taxation. With a Press release issued yesterday, the Commission almost recognised that it […]

Why lay people don’t expect anything good from G20

If restoring global confidence relied on G20 efforts to fight tax evasion and control money market funds (MMFs), then the earth could end up being a totally unsafe and risky place. Who can deny that it is like that today? Tax evasion grows fast and the same is true for financial profiteering. This last development […]

Commission presents far-reaching anti-tax evasion measures

As from January 2015 dividends, capital gains and all other financial incomes and bank account balances will be added to the currently existing restricted list of categories subject to the automatic exchange of information between the EU tax authorities, according to a proposal by the EU Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta. Practically today only interest on bank […]

EU leaders slammed on anti-tax evasion inaction and expensive energy

Only days after the 27 EU leaders gathered in Brussels on 22 May and decided that, “The supply of affordable and sustainable energy to our economies is crucial”, Eurostat, the EU’s statistical service, announced that, “in the second half of 2012 household electricity prices in the EU27 rose by 6.6% and gas prices by 10.3%”. […]

EU leaders let tax-evaders untouched

In tomorrows’ European Summit the 27 leaders of the European Union will have as main item in their agenda the fight against tax evasion and fraud. Reportedly without concrete results. According to the President of the Council, Herman Van Rompuy, this affair costs to member state budgets around €1 trillion every year. If only a […]

EU: Tax evasion and fraud flourish under political protection

It is a disgrace for the European Union’s political elite to consciously block the internal exchange of information between the member states authorities and banks on matters related to tax evasion and fraud. This is exactly what the 27 EU minister of Finance did yesterday in the Ecofin Council in Brussels. This unbelievable political decision […]

Tax evasion and fraud threaten the European project

Tax evasion and avoidance has been a perennial issue from the moment taxation was invented. Presently the European Commission estimates that in the EU of 27 member states, tax avoidance and fraud runs up to €1 trillion yearly, more than enough to foot the bill of government deficits that plague the EU economy and have […]

What are the real targets of EU’s efforts to fight tax evasion?

Algirdas Šemeta, the European Commissioner responsible for Taxation Audit and Anti-fraud announced yesterday in very low tones the creation of a new consultative committee in Brussels, under the name of “tax good governance platform”. This was a very disproportionate outcome, after the widely advertised Commission’s initiative to crack down on tax evasion in the European […]

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

The informal Ecofin and Eurogroup councils that took place in the Dublin Castle this weekend had only one victim; the bank depositors. Tax evaders got away, with Algirdas Šemeta the EU Commissioner responsible for Taxation and Anti-Fraud, running after them brandishing only his “appetite for progress and action”.  In reality no real progress or action […]

EU ready to relinquish its internal tax havens

The upcoming Ecofin and Eurogroup meetings in Dublin on 12 and 13 April may be informal but they are expected to introduce a ground breaking policy initiative. The new idea is that the 27 European Union countries should mutually abolish their banking secrecy rules and practices vis-à-vis the tax authorities of all member states. In […]