Gibraltar Rejects Spanish MEP's Tax Evasion Accusation
by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
02 March, 2016
Gibraltar has rejected allegations from a Spanish Member of the European Parliament that the territory facilitates tax evasion and financial crime.
Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for European Affairs, Dr Joseph Garcia, has written to the European Commission setting out Gibraltar's position on tax evasion and other financial crime.
The Deputy Chief Minister wrote that:
- Gibraltar has international exchange of information agreements with some 80 countries including Spain;
- Gibraltar received a glowing review from the OECD on its record on exchange of information and transparency;
- Tax evasion is a very serious criminal offense and is also an indictable offense for money laundering purposes;
- The Gibraltar Financial Intelligence Unit sends information, on request and on a spontaneous basis, to all countries in the Egmont Group of Financial Units. This includes Spain;
- All EU measures on financial supervision and regulation, exchange of information on direct taxation, and the fight against money laundering are in force in Gibraltar and the European Commission has recognized Gibraltar's full compliance with EU obligations in all these areas; and
- Gibraltar has enacted legislation for the automatic exchange of detailed tax information with the United States, the United Kingdom and all EU Member States. This includes Spain. Further, legislation for the automatic exchange of information in tax matters will be enacted shortly, covering about 70 countries.
In response to the MEP's comments, Garcia commented: "It is difficult to see what else this gentleman expects Gibraltar to do, and his question must be seen for what it is – an ignorant and unsubstantiated attempt to discredit and cause harm to Gibraltar. Our record in the transposition of European Union law and in adhering to the highest international standards has been independently verified and is second to none. The Government will not allow his ridiculous claims to go by unchallenged and we have already written to the Commission in order to set the record straight."
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