Brussels ‘Names and Shames’ seven EU States as Tax Havens

Leo Olivero

What Does Spain Say to That?

Last week the EU Parliament was busy sorting out its tax problems. In an important report that member states were voting, they passed that seven EU countries (Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and The Netherlands) were operating and showing the exact same traits and norms of a tax haven in facilitating aggressive tax planning. 

As the EU’s top body on tax matters ‘the European Parliament’s TAX3 Committee’ were hard at it churning out a host of recommendations, an important one, was the decision to create a new body to tackle European-wide financial crime which according to reports was wanted by a vast majority of MEPs.

The European Parliament also adopted a detailed roadmap towards fairer and more effective taxation, and of tackling financial crimes.

The recommendations, adopted by 505 votes in favour, 63 against and 87 abstentions, were prepared over a year of work by this EU’s Parliament’s Special Committee on Financial Crimes named ‘TAX3’.

The policies agreed ranged from overhauling the system to deal with financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance, notably by improving cooperation in all areas between the multitude of authorities involved, to setting up new bodies at EU and global level

Naming and Shaming EU Tax Bad Boys

As mentioned, MEPs, via the vote, also decided the Commission should start work immediately on a proposal for a European financial police force and an EU financial intelligence unit, an EU anti-money laundering watchdog should be set up and that a global tax body should be established within the UN.

Although the shock news without doubt, was the ‘naming and shaming’ of member states which the EU Tax Committee report highlighted as the naughty seven EU tax country tac dodgers in (Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and The Netherlands) all displayed traits of a tax haven and in facilitating aggressive tax planning.

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