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Malta Backs EU Crackdown On Aggressive Tax Planning

by Jason Gorringe,, London

20 March 2018

Malta has reiterated its commitment to fighting aggressive tax planning, joining other EU member states who have unanimously agreed to amend the EU's tax information sharing law, the Directive on Administrative Cooperation.

The amendments to the Directive, which were agreed last week by EU finance ministers, will require intermediaries, such as tax advisors, accountants, and lawyers, that design and/or promote tax planning schemes to report those schemes that are considered potentially aggressive. The amendments will also require member states to automatically exchange the information received through a centralized database. This is intended to enable new tax avoidance risks to be detected earlier and measures to be taken to block harmful arrangements.

Malta's support for this latest initiative comes against a backdrop of criticism in the media of smaller EU member states, including Malta, particularly in light of the publication of the EU's tax black list, which featured no EU member states.

Malta's Minister for Finance, Edward Scicluna, told his fellow finance ministers that Malta takes exception to the "non-European way" Malta has been labeled as potentially non-cooperative in tax matters, noting that his sentiment has also been expressed by six other member states who have been labeled negatively in the press, which cited the European Tax Commissioner.

Scicluna stated that Malta is fully compliant with EU rules and directives on taxation and is also fully compliant with international tax standards. "The introduction of The Anti Tax Avoidance Directive I (ATAD I) and ATAD II, coupled with today's unanimous agreement on the proposal for a directive to amend the Directive on Administrative Cooperation, is a further demonstration of our commitment to this cause," he said.

TAGS: Finance | tax | European Commission | Malta | tax avoidance | law | international financial centres (IFC) | ministry of finance | tax planning | tax reform | Europe | Tax | BEPS

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