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EU Makes Changes To Tax Blacklist

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

14 March 2018


The EU has removed three countries from its list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions and added a further three.

On March 13, the European Council removed Bahrain, the Marshall Islands, and Saint Lucia from the list. It said that these jurisdictions have made commitments at a high political level to remedy the EU's concerns. Implementation of these commitments will be carefully monitored.

The Council added to the list the Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the US Virgin Islands.

When it first published the list, the Council agreed to put on hold a screening of the tax systems of the Caribbean jurisdictions that were affected by hurricanes in September 2017. This process was restarted in January 2018, when the EU sent letters requesting commitments from the countries involved that they would take steps to allay EU concerns.

According to the Council, the Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the US Virgin Islands have been added to the list because they failed to make commitments at a high political level in response to all of the EU's concerns.

The Council decided to add Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, and Dominica to annex II of the list, which is comprised of jurisdictions that have made commitments to reform their tax policies. Jurisdictions included in this annex are subject to close monitoring. Screening is ongoing in the case of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The original list, announced on December 5, 2017, contained 17 jurisdictions.

Vladislav Goranov, Minister for Finance of Bulgaria, which currently holds the Council presidency, said: "I am glad to see more jurisdictions that we listed in December committing themselves to reforming their tax policies in a manner that will remedy our concerns. We call on all jurisdictions on the list to do likewise, and on all those that have already made commitments to implement them in a timely manner. Our aim is to achieve optimal tax transparency worldwide."

This is the second time that the Council has agreed to delist jurisdictions. On January 23, it removed Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates to annex II.

Remaining on the list from the original 17 are: American Samoa, Guam, Namibia, Palau, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago.

TAGS: United Arab Emirates | compliance | tax | tax compliance | Bahamas | Saint Lucia | tax avoidance | Bahrain | Bulgaria | Grenada | Marshall Islands | Mongolia | Samoa | Trinidad and Tobago | Turks and Caicos Islands | Virgin Islands | American Samoa | Anguilla | Antigua and Barbuda | Dominica | Korea, South | Namibia | Palau | Saint Kitts and Nevis | Tunisia | European Union (EU) | Barbados | British Virgin Islands | Guam | Panama | Europe | Tax | Tax Evasion

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