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Eight reasons why public country by country reporting is good for business in Europe

Jasper De Meyer

20 Apr 2017 10:58:31

It’s not just tax transparency campaigners and citizens who want public country by country reporting (CBCR). Businesses and investors are increasingly in favour too. Here’s why:  1. To level the playing field between SMEs and large multinationals. SMEs frequently only operate in one country and are not able to engage in profit-shifting between tax jurisdictions to reduce their taxes, and as a consequence face a higher tax bill compared to their competitor multinationals. According to the European Commission’s impact assessment, cross-border companies in the EU are estimated to pay on average 30 per cent less tax than similar firms active in only one country. Public CBCR would help to level the playing field between MNCs and SMEs, and in turn enhance SMEs’ capacity to support growth ...

One year after the Panama Papers, the EU’s drive for increased financial transparency risks falling short

Jasper De Meyer

06 Apr 2017 14:41:31

On the morning of 4 April 2016, exactly one year ago, citizens around the world woke up to yet another shocking tax scandal. The leaking of 11.5 million confidential documents from Mossack Fonseca showed how the Panamanian law firm helped its clients through the use of offshore anonymous company and trust structures to launder money, dodge sanctions and evade taxation. In the weeks which followed, the Panama Papers put the issue of anonymous company ownership high on the international agenda. The European Commissioner responsible for taxation, Pierre Moscovici, said that the use of offshore companies in order to hide financial assets from tax authorities was “immoral, unethical and, in one word, unacceptable”. He said that the EU had “a duty” to act and put an end to the kind of tax ...

Panama Papers amnesia causing headaches in EU: Member states reluctant to end secretive ownership

Jasper De Meyer

19 Dec 2016 17:50:07

This blog piece was jointly written with the Financial Transparency Coalition It was just nine months ago that countless business leaders, politicians and celebrities found themselves answering awkward questions about why their names appeared in leaked documents from Mossack Fonseca, a company known for setting up offshore business structures.  The leaks, which became known as the Panama Papers, gave a firsthand look at the murky world of offshore corporate structures, and the companies that help set them up. The investigation would be the catalyst for countless government probes, and even helped topple a government.  Perhaps most central and alarming about the revelations was the ease with which someone could open a company or trust and do so anonymously. ...
Eurodad has called upon the European Commission to put the fight against poverty and inequality at the centre of its strategy on working with the private sector in development. The call comes in a written submission from Eurodad ahead of an EC Communication ...

Is the new EBRD policy a turning point for the acceptability of tax havens in development finance?

Jan Van de Poel

31 Jan 2014 15:07:57

It nearly got buried during the holiday season. But, in the last working week of 2013, the board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved a new policy that could have far-reaching implications. This new policy is on where the bank’s clients can be ‘domiciled’ - officially located in legal terms.  In plain language, should the private companies who make up most of the bank’s portfolio use ‘third jurisdictions’ – or tax havens – as their legal locations, even if they do little actual business there. The EBRD is a multilateral development bank established in the early nineties to invest in the development of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In the run-up to this long-awaited policy reform, some civil society groups were calling on ...