Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

The EU Policy Paper, issued by Transparency International, is entitled :”Fighting Money Laundering in the EU: From Secret Ownership to Public Registries.”  The stated objective is to provide company ownership information freely available as a shared objective in the public interest.  The Policy Paper is referenced herein:

http://www.transparencyinternational.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/TI-EU-Policy-Paper-Beneficial-Ownership.pdf

The primary objective of this initiative, as stated in the Policy Paper, is: “To keep a level playing field and maximize their benefit, public registries must be made public in all EU Member States as well as internationally.”  The ultimate Beneficial Owner is to provide detailed information.  This recommendation is pursuant to a review of the 3rd EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, forming a basis for the 4th EU Directive.

As a Best Practice, this initiative should be monitored from a tax policy perspective in alignment with the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Action Plan steps, as well as similar trends meant to uncover complex and non-transparent ownership schemes.  It is noted that the EU Policy Paper is meant to extend the transparency reporting internationally, not only for EU Member States.

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