Public sector suffers losses of up to € 237 billion because of Panama tax haven
New studies on tax avoidance practices by companies and wealthy individuals have come up with surprising findings. One had to assume for example that EU Member States, because of the practices revealed through the panama tax haven scandal (Panama Papers) alone, had suffered a loss in tax revenue of up to € 237 billion. The authors believe that this money could have been used to create 3.5 million jobs.
Academics present studies on tax havens in European Parliament
The studies were commissioned by the enquiry committee in the European Parliament, which was set up after the cesspool in Panama had become public knowledge and mainly concentrated on money laundering, tax avoidance und tax evasion practices.
The studies mentioned above were prepared by the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services (CSES) and by Blomeyer & Sanz (B&S). The authors of the investigation also suspect that the 397 companies whose activities were uncovered in the Panama cesspool have suffered a loss of image. They assume that these revelations have cost these companies about $ 135 billion.
Many middlemen involved in using tax havens
Another analysis concerning proceedings around the Panama Papers found that there are numerous middlemen or agencies helping companies and wealthy individuals to avoid paying tax and to use the structures in tax havens. Law firms, auditors, banks, consultants and companies such as Mossack Fonseca, whose data came into the public domain triggering the Panama Paper scandal, played an important role. However, at a rate of about 40 %, many of these consultants are registered in third countries. The Study of the Centre for European Policy Studies finds that it is exactly this fact, which makes it so difficult to challenge the tax haven-related activities of these middlemen with EU laws.
Resolution of the European Parliament at the end of the year
Based on the studies and other information, MEPs will now prepare a report. The plan is to adopt an official resolution at the plenary of the European Parliament at the end of the year.