Advocacy notes: How EU leaders should respond to tax scandals

Added 09 May 2013

Hardly a day passes by without EU leaders issuing new promises that they will clamp down on tax crimes and tax havens. Eurodad has written three short notes on why and how EU politicians can live up to their promises through a review of the Anti-Money Laundering Directive.  

While Europe struggles financially and its citizens suffer from severe budget cuts, EU Member States are losing around €1 trillion annually to tax evasion and avoidance. Tax evasion and avoidance by multinational companies is also hampering development in the global south. Illicit financial flows from developing countries exceed the amount of development aid received many times over. The Tax Justice Network estimates that since the 1970s, the world’s richest had accumulated US$7.3-$9.3 trillion of unrecorded wealth in tax havens in 2010 and that $21-$32 trillion of unrecorded offshore wealth was channelled through tax havens in the same period.

The review of the EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD) presents a golden opportunity to close regulatory loopholes and to put an end to the corporate secrecy that is necessary to dodge tax payments and to hide the money from tax evasion, as well as funds from drugs and arms trafficking and corruption. Here is some more information, put together by Eurodad:

 For further analysis, see Eurodad’s report Secret structure, hidden crimes.