S&Ds push for tough rules on middlemen involved in aggressive tax planning

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Press release

The Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today led a majority on measures that would make lawyers, banks or counsellors accountable for the schemes offered to their rich clients to cut down their tax bills.
 
French socialist Emmanuel Maurel who has drafted the Parliament’s report stated:
 
“Today’s vote marks a victory over white-collar crime, the fraudsters, the profit hiding experts, and those who help them: the middlemen. There is a real industry in tax planning. These discrete companies must be accountable for the designs they produce, their advice, and what schemes they sell to their wealthy clients. 
“With this reform, all arrangements that do not fulfill even one possible criteria for aggressive tax planning will have to be reported to the tax authorities under pain of sanction.
 
“These new rules will also put a brake on the tax race to the bottom between member states. All the information will have to be communicated and exchanged between national authorities.
 
“The European Parliament has strengthened the original proposal of the European Commission. Today we are showing once more that the European Parliament is the frontrunner EU institution in the fight for tax justice.
 
S&D Group spokesperson Pervenche Berès added:
 
“After a series of tax scandals such as LuxLeaks, the Panama papers and the Paradise papers over the last 4 years, it became clear that tax advisors, whether they are accountants, auditors, lawyers or banks, had to be made accountable for their actions.
 
“It is unacceptable that a whistle-blower is facing justice because he has made public allegations on massive tax fraud, while those who have designed the tax schemes remain immune of any charge.
 
“These proposals, if adopted by the EU finance ministers, will aim to set things right. We urge them to follow our lead in order to increase tax justice in the EU. Our citizens expect the EU to stand behind them, not behind big multinationals or the middlemen who advise them.”