European Union Plans To Remove Banking Secrecy For Tax Evasion Crackdown

May 23rd, 2013 European Union leaders have agreed to crack down on tax evasion more effectively by abolishing their banking secrecy and by improving the exchange of information on account holders among themselves and with non-EU countries.The heads of State and Government of the 27-nation EU, at a one-day summit in Brussels yesterday, decided to curb corporate tax avoidance by plugging the legal loopholes, which made it easier for multinational companies to evade taxes legally and to narrow down the sharp differences in the corporate tax levels among the member nations.The breakthrough after several years of negotiations on a common strategy in the fight against tax evasion and avoidance came after Austria and Luxembourg, two remaining tax havens in the EU, gave up their stiff opposition to an automatic exchange of bank data.However, they made it clear that their nod for a final deal, expected by the end of this year, would depend on the outcome of negotiations with countries such as Switzerland and Lichtenstein on their participation.They also agreed to complete as soon as possible negotiations with five non-EU nations, including Switzerland, on their participation, he said in a statement. The EU is estimated to lose around 1 trillion euros ($1.3 trillion) annually through tax evasion and avoidance.


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