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Offshore IFCs Absent From EU's New Tax Blacklist

by Ulrika Lomas,, Brussels

05 December 2017

EU member states have agreed to a new EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, featuring 17 jurisdictions and notably relatively few offshore financial centers.

The 17 countries that feature in the "black list" agreed by EU finance ministers on December 5, 2017, are: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, Macao, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

A further 47 countries have committed to address deficiencies in their tax systems and to meet the required criteria, following contacts with the EU.

Placement on the blacklist will result in the countries losing EU funds, it has been reported. Further penalties are to be agreed.

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation, and Customs, said: "The adoption of the first ever EU blacklist of tax havens marks a key victory for transparency and fairness. But the process does not stop here. We must intensify the pressure on listed countries to change their ways. Blacklisted jurisdictions must face consequences in the form of dissuasive sanctions, while those that have made commitments must follow up on them quickly and credibly. There must be no naivety: promises must be turned into actions. No one must get a free pass."

The idea of an EU list was originally conceived by the Commission and subsequently taken forward by member states. The Commission said work is to continue as the 47 territories should meet EU criteria by the end of 2018, or 2019 for developing countries without financial centers, to avoid being listed.

The EU listing process is a dynamic one, the Commission said. It said, as a first step, a letter will be sent to all jurisdictions on the EU list, explaining the decision and what they can do to be de-listed. A first interim progress report should be published by mid-2018 and the EU list will be updated at least once a year.

TAGS: United Arab Emirates | Finance | tax | Saint Lucia | Bahrain | Grenada | Marshall Islands | Mongolia | Samoa | Trinidad and Tobago | offshore | transfer pricing | American Samoa | Korea, South | Namibia | Palau | Tunisia | Barbados | Guam | Panama | Tax | BEPS

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