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'Bank secrecy to die' after Austria and Luxembourg back EU law

21.03.14 @ 09:28

Austria and Luxembourg at a summit on Thursday (20 March) in Brussels agreed to back EU plans to increase transparency in tax reporting. "We confirmed today that this is the course we want to follow," Luxembourg Prime ...

Corporate tax breaks could be classed as illegal aid, warns EU competition chief

12.02.14 @ 12:07

The European Commission will assess whether governments re-writing their tax laws to offer corporate tax breaks amounts to illegal state aid, the bloc's competition chief said on Tuesday (11 February). Speaking at the ...

Commission to launch EU tax discrimination probe

20.01.14 @ 19:34

The European Commission will examine the tax codes of all 28 EU countries in a bid to stamp out tax discrimination against foreign nationals from other EU countries. In a statement released on Monday (20 January), the ...

AnalysisIs the Greek economy ready to come off life support?

09.01.14 @ 09:29

After six consecutive years of recession, the Greek economy might finally be allowed to leave its life support machine this year. The country's debt burden should start to fall in 2014. So should unemployment. It may ...

ReviewThe year that almost saw a clampdown on tax evasion

07.01.14 @ 09:25

What do Russian oligarchs have in common with the campaign treasurer of French President Francois Hollande? Or Greece's richest with the family of Azeri autocrat Ilham Aliyev? They were all listed in "Offshore Leaks," a ...

Austria and Luxembourg accused of undermining EU credibility

10.12.13 @ 20:15

Luxembourg and Austria came under attack on Tuesday (10 December) after the two countries stood firm and blocked plans to increase transparency in tax reporting. At a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels, the final ...

EU financial tax is legal, commission lawyers say

06.12.13 @ 09:24

The EU's financial transactions tax is legal and would not discriminate against countries outside its remit, according to lawyers working for the European Commission. A report by the commission's legal team, seen by ...

EU unveils plans to go after tax 'freeloaders'

25.11.13 @ 18:46

The European Commission Monday (25 November) unveiled plans to clamp down on tax 'freeloaders' in its latest bid to target corporate tax avoidance. Officials plan to re-write rules on the tax status of parent and ...

EU bank transparency rules delayed

16.11.13 @ 09:55

Finance ministers on Friday (15 November) failed to reach a political agreement to impose greater bank transparency rules. Both Luxembourg and Austria opposed the measure, which would allow governments to collect ...

EU trade commissioner in tax fraud case

08.11.13 @ 17:24

Belgium's EU commissioner is to appear before court later this month in a case involving charges of tax fraud. Karel De Gucht, in charge of EU trade, was last year accused by Belgian tax authorities of failing to ...

EU multinationals scamming Africa out of billions, Tanzanian MP says

31.10.13 @ 09:23

Tax avoidance loopholes for EU-based multinationals introduced by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are said to be costing African countries double the amount they receive in foreign aid. “It is ...

InvestigationMillions stashed offshore, as Serbian firms lurched toward ruin

03.10.13 @ 09:05

With accession candidate country Serbia facing EU questions on controversial state sell-offs, newly revealed documents paint a former Macedonian minister as a backstage player in the demise of several big Serbian ...

FocusDim prospects for EU energy tax reform

16.09.13 @ 17:53

Lawmakers are keen to promote energy efficient and cleaner fuels to combat climate change, to encourage alternatives to petrol and diesel and to get squeeze money out of motorists into the bargain. The result is that ...

EU commission not giving up on finance tax

14.09.13 @ 19:12

The European Commission has said it is not giving up on a planned financial transactions tax for 11 EU countries after a legal opinion said it was in breach of EU law. "The European Commission is absolutely confident in ...

EU institutions at war on 'illegal' finance tax

10.09.13 @ 16:49

A financial transactions tax (FTT) for 11 EU countries would be illegal as it affects the tax sovereignty of others, according to an opinion by the legal service of the EU Council in Brussels. The European Commission ...

Greece to seize tax dodgers' assets

14.08.13 @ 09:22

Greek tax authorities will seize the assets of businesses and individuals who do not settle their tax debts, the government said on Tuesday (13 August). Under the plans, the Greek finance ministry will issue warnings ...

G8 tax deal falls short of expectations

19.06.13 @ 10:09

The G8 summit in Northern Ireland concluded with mixed results, as leaders pledged to clamp down on tax dodgers and to improve corporate transparency but did not agree to put in place binding rules. A G8 communique on ...

EU tax havens under pressure as leaks go public

17.06.13 @ 09:29

EU-linked tax havens have come under increased pressure to reveal who really owns what ahead of a meeting of leading world economies in Northern Ireland on Monday (17 June). On Saturday, British Prime Minister David ...

OpinionTax wars: EU playing catch-up with US

16.06.13 @ 10:03

Last week, while showcasing draft EU laws on tax transparency, commissioner Algirdas Semeta told media in Brussels he is building "the most comprehensive information exchange system in the world." He added: "The EU ...

AgendaTrade and tax issues to dominate this WEEK

15.06.13 @ 07:33

EU-US trade relations will take centre stage at a meeting of eight of the world's wealthiest nations in Northern Ireland on Monday. Hopes that the UK, hosting the international event, can announce the launch of the ...

EU to become world's worst place for tax cheats

12.06.13 @ 19:07

The European Commission has said the EU is building "the most comprehensive information exchange system in the world" to combat tax dodging. Algirdas Semeta - the Lithuanian commissioner behind a series of new tax laws ...

Britain renews attack on EU transactions tax

06.06.13 @ 09:32

British chancellor George Osborne has attacked EU plans to create a financial transactions tax (FTT), describing it as "poorly designed, badly timed and unlawfully extraterritorial." He said it would "hinder EU growth ...

Reports of Tobin Tax death exaggerated, EU says

31.05.13 @ 17:25

EU tax commissioner Algirdas Semeta has cast doubt on reports that his Financial Transactions Tax (FTT), also known as the Tobin Tax, is being unravelled by member states. The Reuters news agency and the Wall Street ...

OpinionWhen a public bank loses sight of the public interest

30.05.13 @ 17:39

Last week an internal document was made public which revealed that the European Investment Bank (EIB) is seeking an exemption on the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). After speaking out against US legislation regulating ...

Brussels gives seven states more time to fix budgets

29.05.13 @ 18:27

Seven EU countries are to be given extra time to bring down their budget deficits, after the European Commission took a lenient stance on austerity measures taken by governments to balance their books. France, Spain, ...

Delay austerity and increase investment, IMF warns UK

23.05.13 @ 09:30

The UK should delay plans to push through further austerity measures worth £10 billion (€12 billion), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned on Wednesday. Speaking on Wednesday (22 May) following the completion of ...

EU leaders see progress on lifting bank secrecy

22.05.13 @ 22:22

EU leaders in Brussels for a special summit on tax evasion and fraud hailed new political "momentum" on the issue, but few concrete measures were agreed to recoup the estimated €1 trillion yearly in lost revenues. The ...

Ireland on the defensive in Apple tax row

22.05.13 @ 09:42

An EU summit on the issue of tax co-ordination on Wednesday (22 May) is likely to put more pressure on low-tax countries like Ireland amid revelations in the US that Apple and other large corporations are using EU-based ...

Charity attacks EU "hypocrisy" on tax evasion

22.05.13 @ 09:29

EU leaders have been put on the defensive after development charity Oxfam accused them of turning a blind eye to €9.5 trillion hidden in European tax havens. Oxfam, which lambasted what it described as EU "hypocrisy" ...

British PM tries to break deadlock on tax havens

21.05.13 @ 09:36

EU leaders will make another bid to agree rules on tax evasion after UK Prime Minister David Cameron called on 10 British tax havens to "get their house in order" on secret bank accounts. In a letter released Monday (20 ...

AgendaEU leaders discuss energy and tax next WEEK

17.05.13 @ 18:36

Energy and tax policy are on next WEEK’s agenda as European leaders gather in Brussels for a summit on Wednesday (22 May). Member states want to harvest an estimated €1 trillion lost every year to tax evasion. It is ...

EU finance ministers draw blank on new tax law

15.05.13 @ 10:01

Austria and Luxembourg have blocked an EU deal to increase tax transparency. Their finance ministers dug in their heels at a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (14 May) despite pressure from major EU states. Speaking to ...

EU targets tax evasion on savings

13.05.13 @ 17:12

The European Commission wants to tighten tax loopholes on savings of EU citizens who hold accounts in member states and in Switzerland, Andorra, San Marino, Monaco and Lichtenstein. "We are looking for an ambitious ...

AgendaTax evasion on the agenda this WEEK

13.05.13 @ 09:23

Tax havens and banking transparency top this week’s agenda as EU finance ministers meet to discuss the issue on Tuesday (14 May). The ministers are set to adopt a mandate enabling the European Commission to negotiate ...

UK deal on Caribbean tax havens boosts prospect of EU-wide crackdown

02.05.13 @ 09:29

British tax havens in the Caribbean have agreed to provide information on offshore bank accounts (2 May), in a step which increases the prospect of an EU-wide agreement on information exchange on overseas accounts used ...

Denmark and Sweden have highest taxes

29.04.13 @ 20:35

Danes and Swedes are the highest taxed people in Europe, according to research published on Monday (29 April). Denmark and Sweden claim tax revenues accounting for 47.7 percent of economic output and 44.5 percent ...

EU seeks quick deal on tax transparency

25.04.13 @ 09:51

The EU is hoping to reach agreement on automatic exchange of data on overseas bank accounts, according to a letter sent to national capitals on Wednesday (24 April). A letter from Irish finance minister Michael Noonan ...

EU governments get cold feet on transactions tax

22.04.13 @ 09:29

Prospects of an EU tax on financial transactions have been put into question by confusion on how it would work and a legal challenge by the UK. A six-page-long memo drafted by civil servants in the EU Council last week ...

AnalysisWhy is Austria so keen on bank secrecy?

15.04.13 @ 19:23

Tax evasion has risen to prominence on the EU agenda following the money laundering discussions surrounding Cyprus' bailout and the recent revelations concerning Europeans hiding their wealth in complex offshore schemes ...

Switzerland to defy EU tax transparency

15.04.13 @ 09:30

Switzerland should reject EU plans for mandatory information exchange on bank accounts, the country's President has said. His statements comes amid new momentum in the EU to establish a system of automatic exchange of ...

Top five EU states push for tax transparency

10.04.13 @ 09:25

France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK have agreed to more automatic exchanges of banking data to fight tax evasion, increasing pressure on Austria and Luxembourg to give up their veto on the equivalent EU bill. In a ...

French ministers in transparency move after tax scandal

09.04.13 @ 09:28

All members of France's Socialist government are to publish their financial assets within days as President Francois Hollande struggles to overcome a tax fraud scandal involving his former budget minister. Prime ...

AgendaUS treasury boss to press EU on trade this WEEK

08.04.13 @ 10:35

Trade and tax are likely to take centre stage when US treasury secretary Jacob Lew visits EU leaders this week. Lew will meet with European Council and Commission heads Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso in ...

Double taxation row as Brussels unveils transactions levy

14.02.13 @ 19:20

The European Commission was under fire Thursday (14 February) over claims that its planned tax on financial transactions (FTT) would lead to double taxation. Unveiling the plans for an FTT backed by 11 EU countries, ...

EU proposes €5mn fines for money laundering

06.02.13 @ 09:14

Individual staff should be fined up to €5 million and firms, such as banks, should be fined 10 percent of turnover if they flout anti-money-laundering rules, the European Commission has proposed. It put out its latest ...

Group-of-11 gets go ahead for financial transaction tax

22.01.13 @ 19:41

A European tax on financial transactions has moved a step closer to reality after EU finance ministers gave the go-ahead for 11 countries to put it into law. Ministers at the Ecofin meeting in Brussels on Tuesday (22 ...

Italy to run balanced budget, minister says

21.01.13 @ 20:06

The Italian economy will run a balanced budget in 2013 before returning to growth the following year, the country's outgoing finance minister has told the European Parliament. Speaking with MEPs on the Parliament's ...

Semeta urges Irish action on EU tax files

11.01.13 @ 09:19

EU tax commissioner Algirdas Semeta has called on the Irish presidency to break the log-jam on proposed EU tax legislation, while saying that Brussels has no plans to harmonise national tax rates. Speaking to the Irish ...

Hollande's millionaire tax struck down

31.12.12 @ 09:16

French president Francois Hollande suffered a major political blow over the weekend when his flagship policy to heavily tax the very rich was struck down. The Constitutional Council on Saturday (29 December) ruled that ...

Commission - EU must combat €1tn tax dodging

07.12.12 @ 10:00

EU countries must apply common tax rules to combat tax havens and loopholes allowing businesses to avoid corporation tax, according to new proposals released on Thursday (6 December) by the European Commission. The ...