Tax & Accounting Blog

French Finance Minister Presents Proposals on Combating Tax Avoidance

BEPS, Blog, Checkpoint, ONESOURCE, Transfer Pricing May 12, 2016

On April 11, 2016, the Minister of Finance and Public Accounts, Michel Sapin, issued a press release discussing the 13 proposals France presented at the recent G20 Summit and International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington, D.C. These proposals are in response to the “Panama Papers,” and confirm the country’s commitment to fight against fraud, evasion and aggressive tax planning.

The proposals include the following:

(1) Request Panama to provide financial information of French taxpayers that have a connection with Panama, which will require negotiating the tax agreement with Panama.

(2)  Ask countries to commit to the automatic exchange of information between tax administrations, effective in 2018.

(3) Create a blacklist, on the basis of evaluations of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, to identify “non-cooperative jurisdictions” and apply sanctions.

(4) The European Union should adopt a leading role in implementing a directive of common measures against States and territories identified as non-cooperative.

(5)  Call for increased cooperation between authorities to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and ensure full access to information about all beneficial legal persons, including trusts and offshore shell companies.

(6) France wants all nations to develop standardized records of beneficiaries, including all forms of legal persons (companies limited by shares, trusts, foundations, etc.).

(7) Requested that the OECD work with the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) to create an automatic exchange standard to identify beneficiaries.

(8) France will make its register of beneficial owners of trusts public. See BEPS Action 12 recommendations.

(9) Requests the OECD and FATF ensure the effectiveness of the obligations in matters of taxation and money laundering for all intermediaries in international financial arrangements.

(10) France wants the EU to enhance the effectiveness of sanctions for tax evasion.

(11) Confirms its commitment to all G20 and OECD countries that it will consistently implement the 15 BEPS actions.

(12) France wants to ensure the implementation of global automatic country-by-country reporting (CbCR) between tax authorities for fiscal years beginning in 2016. See BEPS Action 13 recommendations.

(13) Supports establishing a requirement, at the European level, to require large companies to publicly disclose their activities and taxes by country.

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