EU blacklists 17 tax havens for failing to comply with tax transparency
07 December, 2017, 09:14
The list of countries named include: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates.
Though being hailed as a vital "first step", the failure of the member states to come to an agreement on any sanctions for those blacklisted provoked the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, Pierre Moscovici, to openly admit it was as yet "an insufficient response".
"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".
Several other jurisdictions, including the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands failed to comply to the standards set by the European Union as well, but got a temporary pass because they were hit hard by hurricanes this year and might not now have the infrastructure to deal with the problems.
The blacklisted countries are accused of behaving like tax havens.
The bloc did not assess its own member states.
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A further 47 jurisdictions were also included in a grey list.
"There's still a number of countries which entered into commitments as regard to good tax governance and we will be following up [on] those commitments", European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday ahead of the meeting.
The EU proposed new rules past year that would force multinational companies that operate in the bloc to reveal details about their operations in tax havens and summarize how much tax they pay in countries around the world.
"Tax havens will not disappear from our radars and we will keep the pressure on", he said.
Andorra, Armenia, Aruba, Belize, Botswana, Cape Verde, Cook Islands, Curaçao, Fiji, Hong Kong SAR, Jordan, Labuan Island, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Morocco, Niue, St Vincent & Grenadines, San Marino, Seychelles, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, and Vietnam. Some large companies - including Apple, General Electric, and others - often stash billions of dollars overseas in tax havens, like Luxembourg and the Cayman Islands, so they can effectively defer payment of their taxes.
The Paradise Papers leak, which made public some of the intricate ways corporations and individuals evade tax using offshore havens, has given new impetus to the bloc.
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