COPENHEGEN: Danish Parliament’s tax committee has summoned the country’s tax chief to answer questions on whether the government may have pension funds invested among countries on the European Union’s tax haven blacklist. The committee will question Minister of Taxation Karsten Lauritzen on Jan. 11 in an open consultation. “The committee wishes to have a discussion with the minister as to whether the government is ready to ensure that statutory and public funds are not invested in tax havens on the blacklist,” according to the invitation. The committee also plans to talk about which measures can be used in relation to those countries, both nationally and internationally. Denmark should ensure its pension funds aren’t invested in the listed tax havens, Lisbeth Bech Poulsen, a member of the committee who will be asking questions at the consultation, said. “We do not want to support such countries with public funds,” she said. Bech Poulsen said it is vital that the parliament be informed about which steps Denmark plans to take in relation to the blacklisted countries.
The European Union on Dec. 5 flagged 17 countries on its list of tax havens. There are no EU member nations, including Denmark, on the list. The EU flagged those countries that didn’t meet criteria related to bank information exchange, the OECD’s Common Reporting Standard and corporate tax reforms within its base erosion and profit shifting project. The purpose with the open consultation is to ask some very concrete questions and hopefully get answers from the minister on what will happen now,” Bech Poulsen, representing the Socialist People’s Party in parliament, told Bloomberg Tax Jan. 5. Bech Poulsen said the committee had previously asked the Minister of Finance, Kristian Jensen, to attend an open consultation as he is Denmark’s finance representative in the EU, but he deferred to the Lauritzen. She said she fears Lauritzen will “procrastinate” in his response to the list.