26 March 2019

Africa: European Parliament Highlights Govts' Failure to Stop Tax Dodging, Says Oxfam

press release

Commenting on the European Parliament's expected endorsement of the TAX3 special committee report calling for tougher action on tax dodging, Oxfam's EU Inequality and Tax Policy Advisor, Chiara Putaturo, said:

"The European Parliament is right to call out EU governments for their failure to agree the reforms needed to tackle large-scale tax avoidance.

"It's good to see Parliament recognise the role which member states such as Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Ireland play in helping corporations shift profits and dodge taxes. The EU is part of the problem. It must put its own house in order by clamping down on tax havens in Europe.

"People across the EU and the developing world pay the price if governments fail to ensure that big corporations pay their fair share of tax. This is a global problem, so it is encouraging that the European Parliament is supporting calls for a new international tax body to address it."

Notes to editors:

The European Parliament will vote on the final report of its Special Committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3) today in the early afternoon.

The European Parliament established the TAX3 committee in March 2018. The special committee built on the work started in 2015 by the previous TAXE, TAX2 and PANA committees, investigating new issues such as digital taxation and value-added tax (VAT) fraud.

The TAX3 committee voted on its findings and recommendations on 27 February. The plenary of the European Parliament will adopt the final report (read part 1 and part 2) in a vote today.

In the final report, the European Parliament criticizes member states for their lack of progress on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), new rules for digital taxation and public country-by-country reporting (public CBCR).

The report also highlights suspiciously high levels of foreign investment flows to several EU member states, particularly to Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Ireland.

Recent Oxfam research has shown that these five countries qualify as tax havens according to the EU's own criteria for its tax havens blacklist.

In 2015 multinational corporations shifted an estimated USD 600 billion in profits to tax havens, 30% of these profits were moved to tax havens within the EU.

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