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Fifty Shades of Tax Dodging

Nov 13, 2015 | News

(09 November 2015) – One year after the “LuxLeaks” scandal revealed the shocking scale of corporate tax dodging, a new report finds that most EU countries continue to uphold secretive tax systems that are riddled with loopholes, and a wide menu of ways for companies and individuals to hide money.

Written by civil society organisations (CSOs) in 14 countries across the EU, “Fifty Shades of Tax Dodging” scrutinises the role of the EU in the global tax crisis and examines whether 15 EU countries have taken the critical steps needed to help end tax dodging. It also explores the policies of EU countries towards developing countries. It finds that:

  • A growing number of EU governments are pushing for strict confidentiality to conceal where multinationals do business and what they pay in taxes. Even France, which once demanded public access to information about what multinational corporations pay in tax, has backtracked.
  • A number of EU countries still offer a diverse menu of options for concealing company ownership and laundering money. Luxembourg and Germany are the worst culprits.
  • This is in sharp contrast to Denmark and Slovenia that are introducing public registers of company ownership.
  • Spain remains by far the most aggressive tax treaty negotiator, and has managed to lower developing country tax rates by an average 5.4 percentage points through its tax treaties with developing countries.
  • More than 100 developing countries still remain excluded from decision-making processes when global tax rules are decided. The UK and France played leading roles in blocking developing countries’ demand for a seat at the table at this year’s UN Financing for Development Summit.

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