Our April issue, contains a special edition on recent EU taxation developments in 2016. EU tax law initiatives moved relatively rapidly during the first half of 2016 with a firm focus on transparency in taxation and tackling anti avoidance and aggressive taxation. Shortly before our April edition was published, the Panama Papers revelations hit the news.
On 4 April 2016, the consortium of investigative journalists published extracts from over 11 million documents, or 1.8 terabytes of data which were leaked by an anonymous source from the Panamanian law firm, Mossack Fonseca. The documents primarily revealed how shell companies and/or trusts had been used for aggressive tax planning and in some cases for tax evasion and money laundering. The papers highlighted the need for more transparency in beneficial ownership across the EU and internationally. They have also drawn attention to the importance of the exchange of tax information between countries and the rising exploitation of tax havens.
The Commission announced soon after the leaks that its previously published proposal on public Country-by-Country reporting by multinationals would now include an obligation to publish information from all parts of the entities, not just from the European subsidiaries as originally planned.
We have the pleasure of including a Viewpoint article from Anneliese Dodds MEP (S&D,UK) who is one of the key players in the European Parliament on taxation issues. We have an article from Donato Raponi, Head of the Unit on VAT from the European Commission, explaining the background to the VAT Action Plan that was also published in April 2016. Our team has also written articles on the Lux leaks cases, tax transparency, antiBEPS implementation proposals and the proceedings of the TAXE II Committee as part of the special In Focus section.
As described in previous Brussels Agendas the Commission recently reached decisions on four state aid cases; two cases against Luxembourg, one against the Netherlands and one against Belgium.