The EU’s official blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions has been updated to reflect international developments in implementing best practice.
The list, which is based on rigorous processes of analysis and intergovernmental dialogue, was first conceived in 2017 as a method of gauging and addressing countries’ tax transparency and good governance practices. The principal factors it takes into account are transparency around countries’ tax regimes, the enforcement of those regimes and the real economic activity of the countries; as well as the existence of zero corporate tax rates, described as a primary indicator of a country’s standards of tax governance.
15 countries were placed on the non-cooperative tax jurisdictions blacklist: American Samoa, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Fiji, Guam, Marshall Islands, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, US Virgin Islands; and Vanuatu. Of these, American Samoa, Guam, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and the US Virgin Islands had taken no action to improve their tax regimes since being added to the original blacklist in 2017; while the other nations were moved onto the list from the “grey list” of countries whose tax governance was viewed to be imperfect but not immediately harmful. 34 more countries remain on the grey list; and 25 of the original blacklisted nations were removed from the list after passing rigorous tax screening processes.
Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: “The EU tax havens list is a true European success. It has had a resounding effect on tax transparency and fairness worldwide. Thanks to the listing process, dozens of countries have abolished harmful tax regimes and have come into line with international standards on transparency and fair taxation. The countries that did not comply have been blacklisted; and will have to face the consequences that this brings. We are raising the bar of tax good governance globally and cutting out the opportunities for tax abuse.”