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‘Cum-Ex’ scandal epitomises scale of white-collar crime

23/10/2018

A tax scandal that cost EU taxpayers billions on an unprecedented scale

‘Cum-Ex’ scandal epitomises scale of white-collar crime

The latest and potentially biggest tax evasion scandal to engulf the EU to date has been debated by MEPs in Strasbourg this afternoon, with Left MEPs demanding urgent concrete action to stop this and other fraudulent practises inside the EU once and for all.

With at least €55 billion lost to taxpayers across 11 European countries over many years, this so-called ‘Cum-Ex’ tax scandal only made it onto the EU Parliament agenda upon the request of GUE/NGL and other left groups.

In terms of the sums involved and the number of banks implicated, this ‘Cum-Ex’ scandal is unprecedented. It involved banks and stockbrokers rapidly trading shares with (‘cum’) and without (‘ex’) dividend rights so that the real identity of the actual owner is concealed, allowing both parties to claim tax rebates on capital gains tax that had only been paid once.

Germany has banned ‘Cum-Ex’ trading since 2012 but this fraudulent practice is said to have cost German taxpayers €31.8 billion between 2001 and 2016, and €17 billion in France, €4.5 billion and Denmark €1.7 billion.

Speaking at the debate, Dimitrios Papadimoulis (SYRIZA, Greece) said:

"Cum-Ex is the biggest European tax scandal by far. And with European scandals, we must respond with European actions.”

“This fraudulent tax practice is way beyond any other forms of tax evasion. It is the true definition of a white-collar crime.”

“Ordinary people are the real victims of this scandal, and we demand transparency, stricter rules, more protection of taxpayers and the return of the billions of euros to where they rightfully belong – the public purses," he argued.

MEPs will vote on the debate before the end of the year. You can read the full investigation in Cum-Ex tax evasion by Correctiv at https://cumex-files.com/en/

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