Following leadership from the Socialists and Democrats, the most ambitious report from the European Parliament so far on how to tackle tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering has been voted today. Tax justice in Europe comes one-step nearer to stopping €825 billion of tax evasion - which represents a loss of €1.600 on the shoulders of each EU citizen. In addition, the EU is losing €160 to €190 billion due to tax avoidance each year.
Jeppe Kofod, S&D vice-president and co-rapporteur on the final TAX-report, said:
“Our demand for a common European minimum effective corporate tax rate was on the agenda today. This proposal would ensure that all companies in Europe pay a minimum effective tax rate of no less than 18%. Unfortunately, a liberal-conservative majority refused to stop the harmful corporate tax race to the bottom in Europe. Instead they safe-guarded low and no-tax deals for multinationals, while workers in OECD countries pay more than one quarter of wages in tax.
“I am very proud to see that today, the European Parliament highlighted the fact that 5 EU countries represent a threat when it comes to tax avoidance and decided to name them. Yes, EU member states are acting as tax havens, and yes, we must initiate a transition that would end these practices and also benefit local populations.
“For an enlightened debate, we need more information and data on the scale of tax schemes. It is not acceptable that countries embarked on a series of austerity measures, while no one knows exactly how much the same governments give away in tax incentives for companies. We have sent a clear message that citizens should be clearly informed about the priorities of their governments: How much is spent on improving public services and how much is spent in reducing the tax bill of the rich and powerful.
“We need to end corporate impunity. The €200 billion money-laundering scandal of Danske Bank and the Cum-Ex revelations shows that Europe continues to be woefully ill equipped to prevent, detect, stop and prosecute scandals linked to financial crimes and tax evasion. That is why we are happy to have also won today our political aim to support a European Financial Intelligence Unit (EU FIU) which will contribute to the fight against serious cross-border economic crimes.”