Tax policy, including the fight against tax fraud, has become a hot topic over the past decade due to journalistic investigations such as LuxLeaks, the Panama Papers, Football Leaks, Bahamas Leaks and the Paradise Papers, which revealed tax leaks and tax havens. The latest finacial data-leak revealed by the media is Pandora papers.
During October II plenary MEPs voted for a resolution on Pandora papers, where they identified what they see as the most urgent measures the EU needs to take to close loopholes that currently allow for tax avoidance, money laundering and tax evasion on a massive scale. They also called for legal action to be taken by the Commission against EU countries that do not properly execute existing laws. MEPs reserved particular criticism for present and former prime ministers and ministers of EU member states whose activities were revealed by the Pandora Papers.
Tax policy has remained EU countries' own responsibility since the EU’s beginning, but the fight against tax fraud is shared by EU countries and the EU.
In November MEPs gave their final green light to new rules obliging big multinationals to publicly declare the taxes they pay in each EU country, in order to undermine tax avoidance. Multinationals and their subsidiaries with annual revenues over €750 million - and which are active in more than one EU country - will now have to publish the amount of tax they pay in each member state. This information will also need to be made publically available on the internet, using a common template and in a machine-readable format.
Since September 2020, the Parliament has had a permanent sub-committee on tax matters. The committee was established to assist the economic and monetary affairs committee with taxation issues and deals with the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance, as well as financial transparency in taxation.