Malta supports EU directive making intermediaries responsible for tax avoidance by companies
In the Council of Finance Ministers, Malta has agreed with new rules for European countries to tighten their belts on tax evasion by companies. Minister Edward Scicluna, who attended the Council meeting, told TVM that Malta protested about the way it was mentioned by Commissioner Pierre Moscovici last week in connection with tax evasion, and clarified its position in this regard.
Malta supported amendments to the European Union directive which addresses tax evasion. Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said Malta is against tax evasion, and for this reason agreed to adopt this directive, which imposes new obligations on financial intermediaries who resort to exaggerated practices for their clients to save on tax.
Edward Scicluna stated that “we have agreed here to make it illegal for banks, accountants, brokers, tax advisors to give advice which in an aggressive manner, as giving advice on minimising tax does not matter, but to play off two countries against each other in transactions between them for a company not to pay tax, anyone giving such advice will be acting illegally, and Malta has agreed to this principle.”
European Economy and Finance Ministers have agreed that European Governments are to impose penalties on intermediaries not conforming to measures of transparency.
This development came about just a few days after Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici referred to Malta, along with six other countries, saying they were permitting their companies to make aggressive tax-avoidance plans. Minister Scicluna expressed his disappointment at Commissioner Moscovici’s attitude.
“Malta, together with six other countries, has protested with Commissioner Moscovici that this is the way to proceed, by arriving at an agreement, and not through mud-slinging and mentioning countries. I believe this message got through clearly, as the seven countries which were mentioned made their point,” Minister Scicluna stated.
All European Union countries have committed themselves to adopt the new tax evasion measures by the end of the year.
See Minister Edward Scicluna’s full comment:
Il-Kummissjoni Ewropea tikkonferma l-andament ekonomiku pożittiv li għaddejja minnu Malta