Tove Maria Ryding, Tax Justice Coordinator at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) made the following statement about the Cum Ex Files:
“The Cum Ex scandal takes the crisis in our tax system to a new level. In addition to the billions of Euros we’re losing due to tax dodging, we’re now also looking at fraudsters that have allegedly grabbed over €50 billion out of the public coffers by reclaiming tax they never paid. This is beyond belief.
“The alleged involvement of several big banks is particularly disturbing. It was tax money that bailed out the banking industry when the crisis started. The last thing we want to see is that big banks are now involved in facilitating large-scale tax fraud.
“There are a number of things governments can do to fight this problem. Firstly, we need to remember that tax administrations all over the world are deeply under-resourced. This is not least the case in Europe, where thousands of tax inspectors have lost their jobs due to austerity. It’s clearly time to bring back the resources that were taken from the tax administrations.
“Secondly, we need transparency and international cooperation between governments. These problems are transboundary, and it won’t work if national tax administrations can’t see beyond the borders of their own country.
“Lastly, we need to look at our laws to make sure they can stop this kind of large-scale tax fraud, as well as hold all responsible actors to account. This includes any banks and lawyers who act as enablers.
"The EU has an important role to play here. For years, there has been a strong focus on making life easier for international investors. But the EU must not become a playground for tax fraudsters. It must lead the way in ensuring our tax systems get the safeguards they need to stop tax fraud by international investors."
Media contact: Julia Ravenscroft, Communications Manager at Eurodad: +32486356814/ firstname.lastname@example.org.