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InvestigationEurope’s tax haven investments in Africa

Today @ 08:22

The honour of delivering the keynote address at the high-level EU-Africa Business Forum earlier this year fell to Dr Ahmed Heikal. In front of European Commissioners, leading politicians, chief executives of huge ...

Dublin to scrap 'double Irish' tax loophole

15.10.14 @ 09:26

Ireland will scrap a controversial tax instrument which allows companies to legally shift huge profits from Ireland to countries with low taxes, the country's budget minister has announced. Speaking in the Irish ...

EU launches probe into Amazon's Luxembourg tax deal

08.10.14 @ 02:07

The European Commission will launch a probe into Amazon's tax arrangements in Luxembourg, the EU's competition chief has confirmed. Speaking with reporters on Tuesday (7 October), Joaquin Almunia said the investigation ...

Apple's tax deal illegal, EU commission tells Ireland

30.09.14 @ 17:45

Ireland's tax arrangement with software giant Apple constitutes illegal state subsidy, the European Commission has said. In a letter made public on Tuesday (30 September), but sent to the Irish government in June, the ...

Polish minister calls for €700 billion EU investment fund

05.09.14 @ 09:28

The EU should establish a temporary investment fund capable of paying for infrastructure projects worth €700 billion, Poland's finance minister has said. In a speech at the Bruegel think-tank on Thursday (4 September), ...

AnalysisEurope's attention finally shifts from bailouts to tax cuts

08.07.14 @ 19:10

It is a sign that the European economy is no longer in crisis-territory that tax cuts rather than bailouts dominated Monday’s (7 July) meeting of eurozone finance ministers. Ministers at the monthly Eurogroup meeting ...

Danes the highest taxed in Europe, reveals Eurostat

16.06.14 @ 18:08

Denmark, Belgium and France are the highest taxed EU countries according to research by the bloc’s statistical agency Eurostat. The data in Eurostat’s report on ‘Taxation trends’ in the EU, published on Monday (16 June ...

EU to launch corporate tax probe into Ireland and others

11.06.14 @ 09:28

The European Commission is to launch a formal investigation into whether tax breaks used to attract international companies breach the EU’s state aid rules. The probe, which is likely to target Ireland, Luxembourg and ...

AgendaEU top jobs and economic prospects to dominate this WEEK

10.06.14 @ 09:28

The EU's top jobs saga, economic future and a possible tax probe are likely to dominate the agenda in the EU this week. The European Commission will host the 10th edition of the annual high-level meeting of religious ...

Belgians face toughest tax burden in EU

07.05.14 @ 09:44

Belgians are the highest taxed workers in the EU and will have to wait until August before they can pay off the taxman, according to research published on Tuesday (6 May). The study by New Direction, a conservative ...

Ministers near deal on 'step-by-step' transactions tax

06.05.14 @ 09:29

Ministers anxious to bring in a tax on financial transactions are hoping to secure a political deal introducing a levy in 2016, in talks planned on Tuesday (6 May). A document outlining plans for the tax's gradual ...

EU top court throws out UK challenge to transactions tax

30.04.14 @ 15:21

The European Court of Justice on Wednesday (30 April) rejected a UK legal challenge to plans by eleven countries to set up a financial transactions tax (FTT). The main thrust of London's opposition to the tax relates to ...

'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 ...

EUobservedThe 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 ...