Paris and Berlin call for blacklist of tax haven territories

The European Commission will table tax reform proposals later today...

Paris and Berlin call for blacklist of tax haven territories

Michael Probst / AP

The finance ministers of Germany and France, Wolfgang Schauble and Michel Sapin have called on industrialised countries to co-operate in blacklisting all territories who breach certain tax and reporting standards.

Launching separate plans last night they said these standards should include disclosure of the names of the ultimate beneficiaries of all corporate structures, including shell companies trusts and foundations that can offer anonymity to their users – measures which are opposed to by some industry associations here.

The German minister said that territories who condone what he termed “serious criminality” could be cut off from global cash flows through the SWIFT international banking network.

He called for, "complete transparency worldwide" in an article in German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Meanwhile, the European Commission is due later today to publish its latest proposals requiring multinational companies with annual turnover in excess of €750m to disclose to both the tax authorities and the public their annual financial results on a country-by-country basis within the EU and in other jurisdictions. 

The proposals are expected to cover companies accounting for about 90% of corporate revenues in the EU.

The measures would require approval by both the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament. The latter has been seeking more aggressive tax transparency measures

Normally EU member states each have a veto on taxation issues, but today's proposals come under EU accounting rules which mean that they cannot be vetoed.