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European Commission tells Spanish MEP Gibraltar complies with tax transparency rules

The European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, has told a Spanish MEP that Gibraltar’s financial services are not "harmful" to the tax authorities of other member states.

Mr Moscovici was responding to a question tabled before the European Parliament by Spanish MEP Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, in which she described Gibraltar’s fiscal standards as “lax” and asked the Commission to carry out case studies for jurisdictions with shortcomings “such as those in Gibraltar”.

But in a detailed response, Mr Moscovici said the Commission “has not identified inconsistencies in the practice of Gibraltar” with regards to exchange of information upon request and automatic exchange of information.

Additionally, Mr Moscovici said the Commission monitors whether Member States, including Gibraltar, comply with their obligations under EC law.

Flagging EU law that requires limited liability companies to publish their annual financial statements, he told the MEP that monitoring of Gibraltar’s handling of this had “indicated no potential non-conformities so far that may have an impact on fiscal standards as reported by the Honourable Member”.

The Gibraltar Government welcomed the support of the European Commission with regards to the Rock’s transparency on fiscal matters.

Gibraltar complies fully with all applicable EU and international standards, but has nonetheless been at the receiving end of Spanish accusations for years.

In a statement the Government said the Commission's answer confirmed its long-stated position, which the OECD and the EU's own Code Group has confirmed, namely that Gibraltar's financial services are not in any way "harmful" to the tax authorities of other member states.

It added that the prejudice held against Gibraltar by some uninformed sources in Spain can best be countered by a serious analysis of the type published by the Commissioner Moscovici in answer to the MEP’s question.

“When a fair and objective assessment is made by an impartial observer, Gibraltar benefits from clear statements that we comply with our international obligations,” No.6 Convent Place said.

“No one should for one moment believe that Brexit is going to change our attitude of compliance to the highest international standards in respect of the financial services offered from our jurisdiction.”

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