Accountants face fines for aggressive corporate tax planning under draft EU law
Brussels — Tax advisers in the European Union risk fines for helping companies to cut their tax bills by shifting profits to low-tax countries, if proposed new EU legislation gets approval. Under the draft law, proposed by the European Commission on Wednesday, tax advisers including the Big Four accounting firms, banks and lawyers, would be required to inform authorities about "potentially aggressive tax planning arrangements" set up for their clients. Britain, Ireland and Portugal have already introduced penalties for intermediaries favouring tax avoidance but the new law would apply across the EU, although penalties would be decided by national governments. In Britain, the measure was recently introduced and is estimated to have reduced tax avoidance by "over £12bn", EU tax commissioner Pierre Moscovici said. Schemes involving transactions to tax-free jurisdictions, such as Jersey, Guernsey or the Cayman Islands, would have to be reported. The new disclosure obligation would also ...
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