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Greens commend tax avoidance agreement clinched by Edward Scicluna

Arnold Cassola: ‘Agreement should spell the beginning of the end of potential tax dodgers of the ilk of Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri and Ninu Zammit’

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella
23 February 2017, 12:26pm
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
The Maltese Greens have congratulated finance minister Edward Scicluna for clinching agreement with EU finance ministers to on measures to fight tax avoidance, despite giving the impression in Malta was not so enthusiastic about them.

“This agreement should spell the beginning of the end of potential tax dodgers of the ilk of Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri and Ninu Zammit,” Alternattiva Demokratika chairperson Arnold Cassola said.

German Green MEP Sven Giegold said the agreement reached by the EU finance ministers on amendments to the anti-tax avoidance directive was a major step forward in the fight against tax avoidance.

“Europe is playing internationally a pioneering role in the fight against tax avoidance by large companies. The debate has also revealed, which EU member states have their foot on the brake. It is unacceptable that the Netherlands have been able to delay the entry into force of the rules against the tax breaks, which translate into aggressive tax avoidance, for one whole year. However, neither could the Netherlands win their claim for a five-year postponement and nor the UK’s demand for further exemptions for banks and insurance companies has been successful.”

Under the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Council has agreed its position on rules aimed at closing down ’hybrid mismatches’ with the tax systems of third countries.

The draft seeks to prevent companies from exploiting disparities between two or more tax jurisdictions to reduce their overall tax liability. Such arrangements can result in a substantial erosion of the taxable bases of corporate taxpayers in the EU.

The proposal addresses hybrid mismatches with regard to non-EU countries, given that intra-EU disparities are already covered by the ‘anti-tax-avoidance directive’ adopted in July 2016.

matthew_vella
Matthew Vella is executive editor at MaltaToday.
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