Following Panama Papers, EU Investigative Committee Proposes Tougher Tax-Evasion Measures
By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team
The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly to adopt over 200 non-binding recommendations proposed by an investigative committee formed in the wake of the explosive Panama Papers leak. The recommendations include new regulations targeting tax avoidance, such as regulating tax intermediaries and expanding protections for tax whistleblowers. The committee also recommended establishing a new permanent panel with authority to investigate tax evasion by multinational corporations.
The investigative committee was formed in the wake of the 2016 Panama Papers leak, in which over 11 million documents related to more than 200,000 offshore shell companies were leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co. Following an 18-month investigation, which included over forty hearings and eight fact-finding missions, the committee prepared a lengthy report with 211 non-binding recommendations. The European Parliament voted 492-50 to approve the report.
The European Commission must respond to the approved report within five weeks. Meanwhile, reports suggest that a new tax committee will be formed to investigate the Paradise Papers leak that occurred this fall.
Following the European Parliament’s vote, European Taxation Commissioner Pierre Moscovici argued that EU member nations should advance pending tax-avoidance legislation, including a regulatory framework for tax intermediaries, such as lawyers and accountants, and new country-by-country tax disclosures for large multinational companies.
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