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Shortened tax haven blacklist

Europe
23.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
EU removes eight countries from fledgling tax haven blacklist
The European Union has removed eight countries - including Panama, the United Arab Emirates and South Korea - from its 17-country blacklist of international tax havens, just seven weeks after the list was compiled.
GALLERY
Brussels (dpa) - The eight countries had made commitments at a "high political level" to address EU concerns that they were not cooperating with efforts to crack down on tax cheats, finance ministers said in a statement on Tuesday.
Countries on the list face EU funding restrictions, but member states disagree on the need to impose additional sanctions to encourage reform.

The eight countries being delisted, which also include Barbados, Grenada, Macao, Mongolia and Tunisia, will now move to a "grey list" of jurisdictions that have committed to bringing their tax laws in line with EU standards.

The blacklist was drawn up in December amid broader EU efforts to double down on tax avoidance. Countries on the list face EU funding restrictions, but member states disagree on the need to impose additional sanctions to encourage reform.

The eight countries being delisted, which also include Barbados, Grenada, Macao, Mongolia and Tunisia, will now move to a "grey list" of jurisdictions that have committed to bringing their tax laws in line with EU standards.

An overall 55 countries have now made such pledges. Their efforts will be evaluated at the end of the year, when ministers will remove those countries that have followed up on their promises from the grey list, while blacklisting those that have not.

EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici called on member states to publish the commitments made by countries on the grey list, to allow for public oversight of their reform processes.

There must be "democratic control on those commitments. We must absolutely fight those tax havens," Moscovici said ahead of Tuesday‘s meeting of EU finance ministers.

Meanwhile, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the EU must impose sanctions on blacklisted countries.

"If you want the list to truly be dissuasive, to really change the behaviour of states and for fiscal paradises to disappear, there need to be sanctions at stake. Naming and shaming is not sufficient," Le Maire said.

The nine remaining blacklisted countries are American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa and Trinidad and Tobago.

Tax avoidance has prompted public outrage, as scandals such as last year‘s Paradise Papers data leak have shed light on the practices of large firms and high-value individuals seeking to reduce their tax bills.

 

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