Fight the use of shell entities

EESC opinion: Fight the use of shell entities


  • fully supports the Commission proposal on the misuse of shell companies for tax purposes and its objectives. Ensuring an effective, fair taxation across the single market is crucial to favour a real recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • supports the choice of a Directive aimed at ensuring a common legal framework among Member States. The nature of the subject matter to be regulated and the objectives pursued means that they cannot, indeed, be handled through single initiatives by Member States in their respective legal systems;
  • considers the proposal to be in line with the proportionality principle, since it does not go beyond ensuring the necessary level of protection for the single market, with an apparently reasonable impact on companies;
  • considers that, in order to correctly manage the necessary checks and to share the resulting information related to the proposal, the Commission and national tax authorities should have adequate capacity to do so in terms of skills and resources; 
  • hopes that, once the investigations into shell companies have been undertaken and completed, the outcome will be made transparent to the public, making known the results of the Directive's implementation;
  • believes that adequate checks should be carried out with regard not only to corporate income but also to assets, given that taxes can be levied even if such assets do not generate any income, as for example in the case of wealth taxes;
  • underlines the need to establish common and clear rules on the specific content of the declarations required from undertakings. Overreporting going beyond the Directive objectives, and the resulting compliance costs, should be avoided; 
  • recommends that targeted rules to prevent the activity of "professional enablers" be laid down in a different legislation, thus following the OECD approach to the subject matter. The EESC believes that the cooperation of professional supervisory bodies in combatting malpractice and possible criminal activities carried out by "professional enablers" would be of great value.