Commission gathers views on future rules to deter promoters of aggressive tax planning schemes

The European Commission has today launched a public consultation to gather feedback on the way forward for EU action on advisers and intermediaries who facilitate tax evasion and tax avoidance. Recent revelations have highlighted how certain intermediaries, such as tax advisers, helped their clients to shift profits offshore for the purposes of avoiding tax. Following the launch of the public consultation, Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union said: “Complex financial schemes and opaque corporate structures do not happen by accident: some intermediaries have developed these into an art-form. These experts offer their clients the opportunity to aggressively exploit loopholes or to shift their profits so as to reduce their tax bill. The public consultation we’re launching today will help us to work out ways to deter intermediaries from designing such schemes and to give our Member States greater insight and information to enable them to put a stop to these practices. As set out in the recent Communication on further measures to enhance transparency and the fight against tax evasion and avoidance, the Commission wants to shed more light on the activities of tax advisers. We also want to reflect on how to build effective deterrents for promoters and enablers of aggressive tax planning schemes and those who use them.