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EU 'Tax Haven' Blacklist Due Imminently

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

01 December 2017


EU Tax Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has said that he is counting on member states to "adopt a meaningful, objective, and transparent" list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, which will be published on December 5.

In a November 30 speech, Moscovici confirmed that the list will be published on December 5, when European finance ministers will meet to discuss it. He said that the list will "represent a first but major step forward in our fight against tax havens, tax fraud, tax evasion, and profit shifting."

Moscovici stressed that the list is drawn up by EU member states, and is not a legislative proposal from the Commission. He said that the list will be member states' responsibility, and that "it will be their credibility that is at stake." Moscovici did however state that that the Commission is willing to act as a watchdog to track how the commitments made by third countries are being put into practice.

More than 90 countries have been "screened" as part of the process of drawing up the list. Screening is intended to be a continuous progress.

Moscovici said that citizens expect that the listing process will be objective, serious, and rigorous. He explained that there will be "a blacklist," and that there will also "be a zone" – the color of which he would not specify – "that will be carefully watched."

According to Moscovici, the listing process has already "created a new constructive dialogue" with the third countries that were screened. He explained that these jurisdictions have "engaged in a dialogue with the EU; some of them have actually changed their legislation to align with our criteria of tax good governance; others will do so in the coming months and have committed to do so."

Moscovici also made clear the need for effective sanctions. He said that the "definition of dissuasive measures against those who have not cooperated will be crucial," and that without sanctions, "third countries will not have the incentives to engage more constructively with the EU in order to get out of the list."

TAGS: compliance | tax | tax compliance | tax avoidance | legislation | tax planning | European Union (EU) | Europe | Tax | Tax Evasion | BEPS

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