EU Report: "The US Emerging as Tax and Secrecy Haven Leader"

The European Parliament’s Inquiry Committee into Money Laundering, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (PANA) published in-depth analysis on EU-US trade and investment relations and their impact on tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency. One day earlier, the PANA Committee also held its third and last public hearing on “the role of intermediaries in the Panama Papers”.

Progress Below Expectations

The EU PANA Committee report concluded that although progress was made on the ongoing negotiation of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and some other subjects, overall progress has been below expectations. The challenges remain on questions of beneficial ownership, cross-border exchange of information, privacy issues, and designated nonfinancial businesses and professions.

US Resisting Global Disclosure Standards

The report concluded that the US is seen as an emerging leading tax and secrecy haven for rich foreigners. By resisting new global disclosure standards, it provides an array of secrecy and tax-free facilities for non-residents at federal and state levels, notably in Nevada, Delaware, Wyoming, and South Dakota, the Report said.

PANA Goes on Fact-Finding Mission to the USA

From March 21 to March 24, PANA will conduct a fact-finding mission to the United States. The purpose of the visit is to discuss tax and beneficial ownership transparency at US state level among other subjects. "PANA Fact-finding mission" has traveled to the UK, Malta and Luxembourg in the last month to address tax evasion, money laundering and tax transparency issues.

PANA Committee Meeting

The third PANA meeting on “the role of intermediaries in the Panama Papers” was focused on the practices in France and Switzerland. "French banks gave an account of their involvement in the Panama papers, underlining that the Panama Papers data cover a period going back to the seventies and that the Know Your Customer rules have been put in place so that it is almost impossible for ultimate beneficial owners of offshore structures to stay out of the books," PANA Committee reported. Banks in France try to install additional client acceptance committees and use risk score boards.

Sources: EU-US Relations' Impact On Tax Evasion Report, PANA Newsletter (February/March ed.), PANA Meeting Recording

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