MALTA SUPPORTS ECOFIN AGREEMENT ON FIGHTING AGGRESSIVE TAX PLANNING

Reference Number:  PR180533, Press Release Issue Date: Mar 13, 2018
 
Malta takes exception at the non-European way that small member states have been labelled in the press recently with regard to the European tax reform process. This was stated by Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna while addressing the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the European Union, which met today in Brussels. This sentiment was also expressed by the six other member states which, like Malta, have been labelled negatively in the press by the European Tax Commissioner.

Minister Scicluna further stated that the unanimous agreement reached during the same meeting today on the proposal to amend Directive on Administrative Cooperation was a testament to all member states commitment, including Malta, in combating aggressive tax planning.

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Speaking on Malta’s behalf, Minister Scicluna stated that Malta is fully compliant with EU rules and directives on taxation and is also fully compliant with international tax standards. The introduction of ATADI and ATAD II, coupled with today’s unanimous agreement on the proposal for a directive to amend the Directive on Administrative Cooperation, is a further demonstration of our commitment to this cause.  

The proposal to amend the Directive on Administrative Cooperation provides for mandatory disclosure of potentially aggressive tax planning by extending the obligation to report cross-border tax planning arrangements to intermediaries.

In a separate discussion on the Banking Union package, Minister Scicluna referred to the Minimum Requirements for Own Funds and Eligible Liabilities (MREL) proposal and emphasised the importance of making requirements proportional to bank risks.  Minister Scicluna stressed the point that small banks need a longer transition to adapt to the new rules as small banks face difficulties in accessing capital markets. Minister Scicluna continued by stating that “imposing unnecessary onerous requirements would impair banks’ ability to finance our economies, with limited benefits in terms of risk reduction”. Furthermore, he stated that “we should also bear in mind that smaller institutions, especially those in smaller member states, have limited access to capital markets”.

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Meanwhile, the Council added the Bahamas, St. Kitts and Nevis and the US Virgin Islands to the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions.

Minister Scicluna also participated in the Euro Group meeting which was held on Monday. The Euro Group set June 21 as the deadline for finalising the Greece bailout programme and for agreeing on a package of proposals for Eurozone reform. 

Minister Edward Scicluna was accompanied by the Permanent Representative of Malta to the European Union Marlene Bonnici and by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Finance Alfred Camilleri.

Photos: MFIN