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EU hopes leaks lead to Europe-wide deal against tax havens

November 7, 2017

A man walks in the Ausra shopping mall in Utena same 100km (60miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, Nov. 6, 2017. Leaked papers revealing investments in tax havens by the world's wealthy suggest U2 frontman Bono used a company based in low-tax Malta to buy part of a shopping mall in Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

BRUSSELS (AP) — EU finance chiefs are working on a blacklist of uncooperative tax havens amid growing public concern about widespread tax dodging by multinationals and the wealthy.

But finance ministers meeting in Brussels remain divided over how and where to tax online companies that operate across the European Union.

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said Tuesday the ministers are preparing a blacklist of non-European tax havens and pushed for sanctions to ensure it’s “credible and meaningful.”

He also expressed hope that the “Paradise Papers” leaks revealing investments in tax havens “will create new political momentum” toward an agreement on online sales tax.

High-tax countries like France have pushed for the blacklist and a Europe-wide crackdown on tax havens. Lower-tax countries like Ireland and the Netherlands argue that will hurt Europe’s competitiveness.

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