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Denmark becomes the first country to buy Panama Paper details

September 20, 2016

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - JULY 25: Nyhavn district is one of the most famous landmark in Copenhagen. People enjoy sunny weather in open cafees in Copenhagen on July 25, 2014

As the global crackdown on tax evasion continues, the fallout from the Panama Papers has once again come into the fray.  Since the papers were published earlier this year, there have been multiple requests from authorities to access the full documents that were leaked to the press, which have been refused by journalists.

As a result, Denmark has become the first country to offer to buy data from the Panama Papers in order to investigate the 500 – 600 Danes listed in the archive for potential tax evasion. While the deal has not yet been formally agreed, the sum looks set to be extensive. The tax minister, Karsten Lauritzen, has been quoted as stating that he will pay up to nine million kroner (£1 million) for the information.

The deal comes following a review of sample documents sent from a secret source which were revealed to be genuine. According to Lauritzen, the information they have seen suggests the files contain relevant information on several hundred Danish citizens, he added “Everything suggests that it is useful information. We owe it to all Danish taxpayers who faithfully pay their taxes”.

While the country is the first to discuss paying a fee for the Panama Papers specifically, it’s not the first time authorities have paid out for tax evasion data. Two years ago, German authorities invested €1 million (£850,000) for files from the Mossack Fonseca leak. This led to raids on a number of Commerzbank customers suspected of fraud.

It’s unclear how many other countries will follow the example of the Germans and the Danes, but what is certain is that the hard-nosed approach to tax evasion is continuing across the globe. Professionals in Denmark, and indeed any European country, that break the law will certainly face prosecution or a significant fine. In order to avoid potentially hefty financial penalties, speak to an expert to find out how you can remain compliant with local tax laws in your chosen location.

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