EU’s rules to prevent tax evasion and money laundering enter into force

New Europe / Alexandros Michailidis

European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici speak during a public hearing on the paradise papers at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 28 November 2017

EU’s rules to prevent tax evasion and money laundering enter into force


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18 months after the adoption of a proposal to further reinforce EU rules on anti-money laundering to counter terrorist financing and increase transparency about who really owns companies and trusts by the European Commission, the new obligatory rules enter into force at EU-28 member states.

The new rules force the bloc’s member states to give tax authorities access to data collected under anti-money laundering legislation, as of 1 January 2018.

As of Monday, the EU’s national tax authorities have direct access to information on the beneficial owners of companies, trusts, and other entities, as well as a customer due diligence records of companies. Member states will have to  – if not already –  transpose the European Union’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive in national law.

The new arrangements should give a major boost to tax authorities in the fight against the types of structures highlighted in the ‘Paradise Papers’, according to the Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Pierre Moscovici.

“We want to give tax authorities crucial information on the individuals behind any company or trust. This is essential for them to be able to identify and clamp down on tax evaders. To do this, tax authorities will now have access to anti-money laundering information,” said the Commissioner.

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