On May 30, The PANA committee held a hearing with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, stating that a draft law that targets accountants and lawyers running tax-avoidance schemes will be made available before the end of June. The EC President was also accused of helping tax avoidance schemes during his period of Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Luxembourg.
The European Commission president informed that a draft law that aims to shed light on accountants and lawyers helping their clients to shift money to offshore tax havens will be published before the end of June. “You can’t simply hide behind lawyers confidentiality. We are working on that. There is progress being made.” Juncker said. The draft proposal will need to be approved by EU members and would come into force in January 2019.
German Greens/EFA member Sven Giegold told Juncker that people still want a clear statement of responsibility on what he did in the past. “That is what is still damaging your credibility. I think this is a shame given that you are making positive progress on tax evasion right now,” Giegold said.
“I believed in tax competition, which is a principle of the [EU] treaty and I still believe in tax competition, but I am focusing my attention now more on a fair tax competition,” Juncker said. “It has to be fair and it was not always fair.”
President Juncker also said that the EU still have an issue of profit shifting. The way to combat it is the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) that would prevent tax evasion carried-out by multinational companies whilst respecting member states freedom to set their own tax rates he said. He also mentioned that the EU is working to put together a list of tax havens by the end of this year.
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