FTC Article in Federation of European Accountants Publication

April 30th, 2015

Yesterday, the Federation of European Accountants (FEE), a group that represents 47 institutes from more than 36 European countries, held their fourth annual tax day at the European Parliament in Brussels. As a part of their vast program for the day, the FEE released a publication taking a look at tax and transparency policies and what the future holds. The publication included articles from dozens of people in the fields of accounting, tax, and transparency. We submitted an article for the publicaiton that looked at the steps Europe has taken towards transparency, but also the risks of not following through with further initiatives which are key to cutting down on tax evasion, avoidance, corruption and all other illicit financial flows.

An excerpt from our article:

One cost-effective way of cutting illicit flows is to make it harder for perpetrators to hide. Establishing registers that collect information about who is really controlling a company, and making that information public, can help facilitate the due diligence obligations of banks and other financial services that are at risk of seeing corrupt or stolen money. Registers would also help authorities track the corrupt politicians, corporate tax evaders and criminals who flourish in this secrecy. And having to disclose ownership details upfront may also have a deterrent effect, since covering your tracks would become all that much more difficult.

At the same time, businesses would gain because it would help prevent them from falling victim to the types of shams that shell companies can help perpetrate. Transparency simply makes for better investments.

To read our whole article, titled Not There Yet: despite strides, Europe still has work to do on financial transparency, and the other submissions, download the full publication here.

Written by Christian Freymeyer

Christian is the FTC's Press & Digital Media Coordinator. You can follow him on Twitter @cfreymeyer.

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