European Union finance ministers have failed to agree on a deal to better combat tax avoidance but hope to get a full agreement in June.

The recent leak of data from a Panamanian law firm showing how rich individuals and multinationals use offshore companies to avoid taxes has added urgency to the debate. Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chaired Wednesday's EU meeting, said he was "confident" a deal would be reached at their next gathering next month.

The EU estimates it loses up to 70 billion euros ($80 billion) in revenue every year because of tax avoidance.

Dijsselbloem said that "we cannot postpone this. Public support for fighting tax avoidance and aggressive planning is very strong."