The “OpenLux” investigation showed a need to better implement European Union tax rules and to strengthen tax-related disclosures by companies, a top EU official said on Wednesday.
The OpenLux investigation last month by journalists, including from Le Monde, Le Soir, Miami Herald and Sueddeutsche Zeitung, said Luxembourg’s investment fund industry is a $5.4 trillion “black box” that helps people launder money and avoid tax.
The Luxembourg government has said it was compliant with all EU and international rules on tax abuse and avoidance.
Paolo Gentiloni, the bloc’s European Commissioner for Economy, said thanks to OpenLux the EU knows more about how EU anti-money laundering rules are being implemented. The investigation sourced material from new registers on beneficial or ultimate owners of a company, introduced under EU rules.
While the EU is a global “frontrunner” on such transparency, it has to make sure that its rules are effectively enforced by all member states, Gentiloni said.
“The OpenLux investigation revealed that a large number of companies failed to meet their reporting obligations. This is a matter of monitoring and of course it is not acceptable, neither in the case of Luxembourg nor of any other EU member state,” Gentiloni said.
The difference between a welfare state and a totalitarian state is a matter of time.