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European Council leaders commit to tackle tax evasion at summit

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23 May 2013

EU leaders spearhead global clampdown on tax fraud

Author: Jeremy Fleming, Euractiv (Belgium)

EU leaders committed to seek a broad global agreement to share data on foreign depositors to stymie tax-shirking companies and individuals...Referring to tax-optimisation by large companies, Hollande said it was “crucial” to fight against it. “[I]t is very important that this struggle is conducted against so-called tax optimisation which is nothing other than the pursuit of zero taxation for a number of large groups."..."There is a real chance of seeing the sort of international action that we need to fix this problem," [David Cameron] said....The Commission estimates that tax evasion and fraud cost member states about €1 trillion a year..."I think it's a very, very important progress that we haven't been able to make over many years. As the EU we would also like to give a contribution to placing this on the agenda of the international community...We will address tax havens and also fight against tax fraud and tax evasion," [German Chancellor Angela Merkel] said. [Transcript: We are...talking about...jointly fighting despicable practices like deliberate tax evasion [said Van Rompuy, European Council President]]

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22 May 2013

Charity attacks EU "hypocrisy" on tax evasion

Author: Benjamin Fox, EUobserver (Belgium)

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...In a statement, Natalia Alonso, the head of Oxfam’s EU Office, said that there was "enough potential tax to be had on hidden 'private' money to end extreme poverty twice over."...She added that "unless the EU agrees a public tax havens blacklist and clear countermeasures, we won’t get much more than hot air from leaders." [Refers to Apple]

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21 May 2013

Civil society urges the Council to end tax evasion

Author: European Economic and Social Committee

The EESC is urging the Council to send out the right signal to the European public and to prove that Europe is able to tackle this fundamental issue. Tax evasion costs EUR 1 trillion a year - EUR 2 000 for each and every one of Europe's 500 million citizens...EESC president Henri Malosse denounced tax evasion as theft...The money is, in effect, lost to education and healthcare. Spain had to make EUR 10 billion worth of saving by cutting money earmarked for its health and education programmes. Effectively combating tax evasion could save billions of euros that will help people in their everyday lives...EESC supports the Commission's proposal for an automatic system of information exchange. The Committee would also like to see more powerful tools to combat tax avoidance...

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21 May 2013

European parliament calls for a Europe-wide tax haven blacklist

Author: Euractiv (Belgium)

MEPs...urged member states to step up the fight against tax havens and improve tax collection...[and] call[ed] for a pan-European blacklist of tax havens...The European Parliament also wants to make the exchange of banking information easier to improve transparency...The debate in the European parliament comes a day after UK Prime Minister David Cameron called on Britain's overseas territories to "get their house in order" over the sharing of tax information. He also told business leaders to stop avoiding paying taxes.

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24 January 2013

Tax avoidance - an introduction

Author: compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

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