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Has the issue of tax avoidance ever been as important as in the current era of (Commission-backed) austerity? Public budgets continue to be slashed for want of public money, yet the news is filled with corporations avoiding taxes at the same time as their profits are at a record high. So it should be of serious concern to Europe's 500 million citizens that the European Commission has invited to its new advisory group on taxation the very same organisations involved in avoiding it, as well as their tax advisors.
The Platform for Tax Good Governance – key to implementing Commissioner Šemeta's far-reaching plans for cracking down on tax dodging, but packed full of individuals representing the biggest tax dodgers – was supposed to be reviewed. Yet according to staff within DG TAXUD the review – with no consultation of group members nor the public – has finished and the same tax dodgers remain in the group.
As the European Commission closes the application process for its new Tax Good Governance Platform in the midst of more scandalous news of offshore tax avoidance and evasion, it needs to learn from past mistakes and not allow the Platform to become a lobby tool of the financial industry.

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