First tax havens blacklist published by EU

From BBC - December 5, 2017

The European Union has published its first blacklist of tax havens, naming 17 territories including South Korea, Barbados and Bahrain.

A further "grey" list of 47 countries are described as being "co-operative" and have been given to the end of next year to reform their tax systems.

EU members have been left to decide what action they want to take against the offenders.

The lists have been criticised as omitting the most notorious tax havens.

The publication of the list follows the leaking of the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers, revealing how companies and individuals hid their wealth from tax authorities around the world in offshore accounts.

EU tax commissioner Pierre Moscovici said the list represented "substantial progress", adding: "Its very existence is an important step forward. But because it is the first EU list, it remains an insufficient response to the scale of tax evasion worldwide."

To determine whether a country is a "non-cooperative jurisdiction" the EU index measures the transparency of its tax regime, tax rates and whether the tax system encourages multinationals to unfairly shift profits to low tax regimes to avoid higher duties in other states. In particular these include tax systems that offer incentives such as 0% corporate tax to foreign companies.

Panama is one of the 17 countries listed by the EU. Its president, Juan Carlos Varela, said it was an "unfair measure", while finance minister Dulcidio De La Guardia rejected the "arbitrary and discriminatory inclusion of Panama" on the tax haven list.

The EU is encouraging member states to take what it calls "defensive actions" against those countries that do not reform their tax systems.


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