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Cameron urges EU tax evasion crackdown.

Byline: ECONOMY Coreena Ford? 0191 201 6331 ?

DAVID Cameron has called for the next EU summit to mark a turning point in the global fight against tax evasion and fraud.

In a letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who will chair the May gathering of EU leaders in Brussels, the Prime Minister warned of 'staggering' losses from tax evasion and 'aggressive avoidance'.

He said: "In a period of fiscal consolidation where hard-working citizens and businesses are being asked to bear extra burdens, we need co-ordinated, truly global action to address these issues."

Tax is already on the summit agenda, but Mr Cameron's letter urges fellow leaders to seize the chance to agree a major crackdown on tax dodgers as part of a much wider campaign.

The subject will also be in the spotlight at the G8 summit which Mr Cameron is hosting in Northern Ireland in June.

His letter to Mr Van Rompuy says: "I am confident that the upcoming European Council and the G8 summit will be remembered as the turning point in the battle against tax evasion and avoidance and the restoration of confidence in the fairness and effectiveness of our tax systems."

Earlier this month the UK announced an agreement with France, Germany, Italy and Spain to develop a pilot project for cross-border tax information exchange - something currently hampered in some countries by bank secrecy and corporate confidentiality.

Now the Prime Minister wants the full weight of the EU behind a push for deeper co-operation between authorities to track down vast amounts in unpaid taxes.

As well as moves towards establishing a new global standard for 'multilateral automatic information exchange', Mr Cameron wants the EU and G8 meetings to increase transparency and extend country-by-country reporting by companies on where they pay tax, and of operation.

Improvements in the ability of developing countries to collect tax must also be part of what must be an international crackdown, he says.

Mr Cameron''s letter to Mr Van Rompuy, copied to other EU leaders says: "There is now, ahead of the G8 Summit in June, a timely opportunity for the G8 and EU to inject the political will required to raise international efforts to a new level and take radical, rather than incremental, action''. ''.

It insists: "We must break through the walls of corporate secrecy.

A lack of knowledge about who ultimately controls, owns and profits from companies leads to aggressive tax avoidance, tax evasion and money laundering, undermining tax bases and fuelling corruption across the world."

We need co-ordinated, truly global action to address these issue
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 26, 2013
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