Tax havens should be stripped of any right to seek help from the International Monetary Fund and other global financial institutions, according to France.
In response to the “Paradise Papers” revelations, France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the latest revelations of tax dodging showed that policymakers have to do more to tackle such schemes, and that any tax haven blacklist should be backed by sanctions.
“Cutting financial support from the international institutions, like the IMF or the World Bank” for countries that refuse to meet global tax transparency standards would be one step,” he said.
As reported by The Financial Times, Le Maire was speaking in Brussels on his way into a meeting of EU finance ministers that will discuss the scandal. He said he would seek support from other countries for a joint request to the international financial institutions.
The minister said that France backs EU efforts to set up its own blacklist of tax havens, saying that the one prepared by the OECD is far too limited in its scope.
“Having a list of countries is one step, but we also need sanctions and we have to implement the sanctions,” he said. “We cannot accept any longer to have tax evasion.”
“We need to know which are the states that are not cooperating, which are not giving the information needed to fight against tax evasion,” he said.
In a separate report, the Reuters news agency noted that the European Union finance ministers called on November 7 for a blacklist of tax havens to be drawn up for approval next month as part of kick back against what it sees as tax dodging by the rich and famous.
The ministers made the issue the main topic of their monthly meeting after release of the “Paradise Papers”, a trove of financial documents mostly from offshore law firm Appleby. The papers made public the tax affairs of numerous companies and investors.
The ministers discussed plans for a common blacklist that would shine the light on such countries.
“There was strong support for the idea of moving forward quickly,” Estonia’s Finance Minister Toomas Tõniste, who holds the EU’s rotating presidency, told reporters.
According to Reuters, he stressed that “most countries” wanted the adoption of the list next month, tacitly acknowledging, however, that not all the 28 EU member states were equally keen to go that fast.