Zee Media Bureau
Amsterdam: Advising caution after Panama Paper leaks, many of the European Union finance ministers have advised that companies and governments should not overreact.Under pressure after the revelations about offshore firms hiding wealth, the EU executive proposed on April 12 a plan to increase tax transparency of multinational companies, including public disclosure of their activities in tax havens.
Companies have warned of reputation risks, as some data may be misinterpreted if made publicly available. Non-EU firms could also acquire valuable information on their EU competitors, damaging their competitiveness, trade associations said.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble questioned the effectiveness of the Commission`s plan at the end of a two-day finance ministers meeting in Amsterdam and indicated German federal states opposed public disclosure of companies` tax data.
"Many people and entities are more willing to share information when they do not have to fear the effect of a public pillory," he said, backing disclosure only to tax authorities.
"We should not
overreact," his Maltese counterpart Edward Scicluna said, warning against the competitive risks for EU companies if overly strict transparency regulations were adopted.
With inputs from Reuters