European Union blacklists 17 tax havens for failing to comply with tax transparency

07 Décembre, 2017, 02:08 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau

The EU published its first "blacklist" of 17 tax havens on Tuesday, alongside a "greylist" of 47 jurisdictions.

The ECOFIN Council also provided some countermeasures to encourage countries placed on the blacklist of tax havens to change their behavior.

The 17 extra-EU jurisdictions seen as "not cooperative on tax matters" are South Korea, American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, Macau, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St. Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.

The penalties could include special documentation requirements and withholding tax measures.

Dozens more countries avoided censure by pledging to improve their tax rules, transparency and information sharing.

The announcement comes less than a month after the publication of the Paradise Papers, a global leak containing information about individuals and companies holding offshore finances.

Other jurisdictions are understood to have been given leeway after suffering severe damage during hurricanes in the Caribbean earlier this year.

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An existing list of tax havens compiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) now includes only Trinidad and Tobago.

According to the Independent UK, Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs on Tuesday said the adoption of the first-ever European Union blacklist of tax havens marks a key a key victory for transparency and fairness, but noted that the process does not stop here.

European authorities have urged nations to up their efforts in committing to greater tax transparency over the past year.

It has also taken legal action against major firms including Amazon that have been accused of owing back taxes. Lower-tax countries like Ireland and the Netherlands argue that will hurt Europe's competitiveness. British overseas territories and crown dependencies, such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, were featured on this, despite being involved in numerous tax avoidance schemes. Some did so by promising to clean up their act.

Alex Cobham of Tax Justice Network, a campaign group, said at the time that the document marked a disheartening return to "the [OECD'S] old pattern of creating "tax haven" blacklists on the basis of criteria that are so weak as to be near enough meaningless, and then declaring success when the list is empty". "Tax dodging means less money available for healthcare, education and the fight against poverty".

The EU says it updates the list at least annually.

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