On Tuesday, Minister for Finance Edward Scicluna addressed the Germany press at the Maltese Embassy in Berlin, where he dispelled fake news appearing on the German media. He also gave a description of Malta’s tax regime, and an account of the work in progress related to the Council Presidency.
PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR FINANCE
Minister Scicluna dismissed the story carried on German and Maltese media about an alleged leak of details on 70,000 offshore companies, many of which were of German origin. He quickly discounted this story as fake news on various counts. He stated that the Register of Companies – which holds a much lower number of companies than stated – is publically available online. Furthermore, Malta does not have an offshore company register.
Minister Scicluna also told the press that Malta ranks high in the list of transparent jurisdictions and compares favourably with respect to major European countries, including Germany. This can be gleaned from the Tax Justice Network’s Financial Secrecy Index. The index is based on fifteen criteria ranging from Knowledge of Beneficial Ownership, Corporate Transparency, Efficiency of Tax and Financial Regulations, and International Standards and Cooperation.
With respect to the work carried out during the Presidency of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the EU (ECOFIN), Prof. Scicluna said that Malta is keeping to its programme priorities, having succeeded to broker the Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive II in spite of major hurdles. Similarly, good progress was reported concerning the drawing-up by the EU of blacklist for third countries, while the Dispute Resolution Mechanism and various Vat-related files are progressing well. The Common Corporate Tax Base (CCTB) will feature for a preliminary discussion at next week’s ECOFIN meeting.
Following this meeting, Minister Scicluna had a bilateral meeting with the German Federal Finance Minister Dr Wolfgang Schäuble at the Federal Finance Ministry, where topics of mutual interest to both countries were discussed.
Thursday 18th May 2017