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FRANCE TO NAME AND SHAME OVER TAX FRAUD

12 February 2018

The French government plans to name and shame those guilty of the worst cases of tax fraud.

Its approach was announced as part of a broader crackdown on tax evasion, by Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

The Prime Minister said the tougher measures were necessary as his government intended to cut business and household taxes. He added that tax advisers who help clients break the law would also be punished and that tax authorities would receive more resources to identify cases of fraud.

France has not had a tradition of naming and shaming individuals and companies. But its approach echoes a wider feeling across Europe that the issue of tax evasion requires tougher action.

The sensational leaks from the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers in the last two years have laid bare the extent of tax evasion and arguably left the authorities to play catch-up.

But it is essential that those companies and individuals who may come under investigation make sure their tax affairs are legal and above board in whichever countries they trade and pay tax. As an example, the UK’s Criminal Finances Act gives the authorities the power to hold companies criminally liable for failing to prevent tax evasion - here or abroad - by anyone working for them.

France may be set to name and shame. But there are many more reasons why companies and individuals need to make sure they are not involved in any form of tax evasion, knowingly or unknowingly.

Read our article: THE PARADISE PAPERS, DEFENDING TAX EVASION ALLEGATIONS


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