European CSOs outline ideas for EU Communication on Tax Havens:

Added 06 Sep 2012

The communication on tax havens and unfair tax competition will be released towards the end of the year setting out an overarching approach to these problems, a very welcome step. There has already been a consultation on the crucial point of double non taxation. TJN submitted to this consultation and Eurodad supported their views. Stakeholders were then invited to submit their general views about this communication and respond to specific questions and suggestions posed by the Commission. A CSO submission was made with contributions and endorsement from Eurodad, Christian Aid, Oxfam International, Kairos Europe, Weed, Concord Denmark, Tax Justice Network, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Forum Syd and Ibis. The submission made the following key recommendations

Adopt an EU definition of tax haven. Such definition should build on the agreement reached by the European Parliament and the Council in the framework of the AIFM Directive; but to be complete it should also include other criteria like preferential treatment to non-residents and secrecy regulations that are both essential features of non-cooperative jurisdictions or tax havens. Such definition should also be applied to EU jurisdictions.

  1. 1.    The toolbox should be complemented with other incentive and offensive measures, including a “full” country by country reporting requirement at EU level; automatic cross-border exchange of tax information; and alternative options for the taxation of multinational enterprises (e.g. unitary taxation and thin capitalisation).
  2. 2.    Pay greater attention to the role of multinational corporations, major players and users of non-cooperative jurisdictions, and the impact of non-cooperative jurisdictions on developing countries, most of which lack the resources to effectively fight against tax evasion and aggressive tax planning. The Commission should explore ways to strengthen tax administrations in developing countries and ensure the implementation of the principle of Policy Coherence for Development.

The submission also responds to questions raised by TAXUD including double taxation treaties and how to approach countries outside the EU including defensive measures against non-cooperative jurisdictions, incentives for cooperative jurisdictions, and a proposed toolbox of incentives and defensive measures.

Read the full document here:  Submission in relation to TAXUD’s “Discussion paper on possible future measures against non-cooperative jurisdictions and aggressive tax planning and a possible strategy at EU level”