European Commission wants rules to deter promoters of aggressive tax planning schemes

Do certain intermediaries, such as tax advisers, help their clients to shift profits offshore for the purposes of avoiding tax?

How many companies and individuals rely on intermediaries to design financial structures that help them to avoid paying their fair share of tax?

European Parliament has called for tougher measures against intermediaries assisting in aggressive tax planning schemes. The Council has also invited the Commission “to consider legislative initiatives on mandatory disclosure rules inspired by Action 12 of the OECD BEPS project with a view to introducing more effective disincentives for intermediaries who assist in tax evasion or avoidance schemes”.

This month European Commission has launched a public consultation to have feedback on the way forward for EU action on advisers and intermediaries who could facilitate tax evasion and tax avoidance.

Actually some complex transactions and the setting up of off-shore companies may be entirely justifiable but the Commission wants to shed more light on the activities of tax advisers in order to imagine on how to build deterrents for promoters and enablers of aggressive tax planning schemes and those who use them.

In particular, the Commission is interested in gathering views on how a mandatory disclosure scheme for tax advisers could be put in place. Such rules would oblige intermediaries to give early information on schemes which could be viewed as aggressive or abusive planning for tax purposes. This public consultation will help to decide whether it is appropriate to introduce binding rules at the EU level. The public consultation will run until 16th February 2017.


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