Labour MEPs have warned that Britain must continue to enforce EU anti-tax dodging laws in any post-Brexit settlement, following today’s announcement by the European Commission of new measures to enhance transparency in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal.
The main proposals include: better connecting anti-money laundering rules with anti-tax avoidance rules; improving information exchange on beneficial ownership; increasing oversight of the enablers and promoters of aggressive tax planning; promoting higher tax good governance standards worldwide; and improving the protection of whistleblowers.
For years now, Labour politicians in both the UK and Europe have been calling for more transparency when it comes to finding out who really owns our companies and trusts. It is only by having that information that we can stop people from using opaque structures to avoid the tax they should rightly be paying.
Now the European Commission is proposing that all information about beneficial ownership of companies should be public, and that information about trusts should be available to anyone who can demonstrate that they have a legitimate interest in finding out more.