EU states agree on transparency rules to curb tax avoidance

European Union finance ministers on Tuesday backed transparency measures requiring financial advisors, accountants, lawyers and banks to report “potentially aggressive tax planning arrangements” used by their clients.

The rules, which are due to come into force on July 1, 2020, are part of an effort by the bloc to shut down corporate ploys to shift profits to low-tax countries.

Read more: EU launches investigation into IKEA tax deals

Information about the schemes will be compiled in a centralized database and shared among the 28 EU member countries.

“If the authorities receive information about aggressive tax planning schemes before they are implemented, they will be able to close down loopholes before revenue is lost,” said Bulgarian Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency.

Read more: Oxfam urges EU action on ‘tax havens’ 

‘Progress for tax justice’

Tax planning intermediaries who fail to comply with the rules will risk fines or sanctions set by individual member states. If

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