Brussels editorial office
06 September 2021 13:00
Major European banks continue to use tax havens to account for portions of profits and save on taxes, with two Italians in the top ten using this strategy to evade taxes. This was stated by a study by the EU Tax Observatory, an independent research company of the Paris School of Economics, according to which 36 large Union banks have moved a total of 20 billion euros or about 14% of total profits, to tax havens. although few were their employees who actually worked there. Profits recorded in these countries would amount to around € 238,000 per employee, compared to € 65,000 in non-tax havens, the report said. “This suggests that profits recorded in tax havens are mainly shifted out of other countries where service production actually occurs,” the report said.
Monte dei Paschi di Siena (second place with over 50 percent of profits in tax havens) and Intesa San Paolo (tenth place with over ten), are reported among the ten banks that most use this stratagem to evade the tax authorities. The study also points out that the percentage of profits recorded in tax havens has not changed in the last seven years, despite the introduction of mandatory country-by-country reporting since 2014, a transparency tool that it hoped would have curbed the phenomenon, but which apparently it would have proved of little use. Eight institutes even increased the percentage of profits recorded in tax havens in this period: Monte dei Paschi di Siena (+ 19.4%), Intesa Sanpaolo (+ 12.2%), HSBC (+ 7.9%), Barclays (+ 4.3%). %), Nordea (plus 2.1%), BBVA (plus 1%), Banco Santander (plus 0.8%) and Rabobank (plus 0.7%).
The research identifies 17 countries and territories as paradises for the purposes of the study: Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Macao, Malta, Mauritius, Panama and Qatar. Of these territories, the highest tax rate is found in Luxembourg (15%), while Bermuda, Panama, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands have a zero rate.