In March 2018 a special EU committee on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance (TAX3) was established. Now, one year later, The EU Parliament has approved a controversial report from the committee.
According to the report close to 40 % of MNEs’ profits are shifted to tax havens globally each year with some European Union countries appearing to be the prime losers of profit shifting, as 35 % of shifted profits come from EU countries.
About 80 % of the profits shifted from EU Member States are channelled to or through a few other EU Member States. The latest estimates of tax evasion within the EU point to a figure of approximately EUR 825 billion per year.
Tax avoidance via six EU Member States results in a loss of EUR 42,8 billion in tax revenue in the other 22 Member States, which means that the net payment position of these countries can be offset against the losses they inflict on the tax base of other Member States. For instance, the Netherlands imposes a net cost on the Union as a whole of EUR 11,2 billion, which means the country is depriving other Member States of tax income to the benefit of multinationals and their shareholders.
The Commission has criticised seven Member States – Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands – for shortcomings in their tax systems that facilitate aggressive tax planning, arguing that they undermine the integrity of the European single market.
Member States now calls on the Commission to currently regard at least these five Member States as EU tax havens until substantial tax reforms are implemented.
Texts adopted - Report on financial crimes, tax evasion and tax avoidance - Tuesday, 26 March 2019