European Union flags fly at half staff in front of EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday, June 19, 2017. The flags were lowered on Monday to show solidarity for the victims of deadly forest fires in Portugal. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
The European parliament on tuesday passed a directive requiring big multinationals to report tax and financial data separately in all countries where they operate, a measure aimed at tackling tax avoidance and profit shifting to countries with lower taxes. The new rules are part of a wider overhaul of tax regulation spurred by the so-called Panama Papers and other revelations of widespread tax avoidance by companies and wealthy individuals. 
They do, however, still need approval from the EU member states in coming months, and would then have to be enacted into national law in each country within a year. EU countries lose between 50 and 70billion (R748bn and R1.05trillion) in revenues every year, because of tax avoidance. Firms with activities in the EU and an annual turnover of at least 750million will have to disclose data such as profits, revenues, taxes paid and number of employees. -