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Grenada and St Lucia named on European Union 'tax haven' blacklist

07 December 2017

The blacklisted countries are accused of behaving like tax havens.

On the list going into the talks were also Barbados, Cape Verde, Grenada, Macao, Marshall Islands, Palau, Saint Lucia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, according to a draft seen by AFP.

The move was hailed as a vital "first step" but the failure of the member states to agree on any sanctions for those on the blacklist provoked the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, Pierre Moscovici, to concede it was as yet "an insufficient response".

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.

The countries affected by the major hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean have been granted an extension.

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Toomas Toniste, minister for finance of Estonia, which now holds the EU Council presidency, said the blacklist is not a one-off process.

WIC News understands that the list will be updated regularly.

Is this enough? It seems that even today, some member states such as France, think that jurisdictions should also face some form of sanction. "No state should escape responsibilities when it doesn't firmly combat tax evasion", French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on his way to the meeting where the blacklist was approved.

He said the pressure on listed countries to change must be intensified.

These include increased monitoring of certain transactions and auditing, special documentation requirements and mandatory disclosure disclosure of tax schemes with respect to cross-border arrangements.

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The EU is calling on countries with non-transparent tax regimes and structures exclusively created to shield companies' profits from tax to reform their systems.

The "repatriation provision" proposed by Republicans would change give American companies a tax break - allowing them to pay a minimum of 10 percent tax on some types overseas earnings (in the Senate version of the bill) and a 20 percent tax on domestic profits.

The EU proposed new rules a year ago 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.

"Including both taxation measures and measures outside the field of taxation, these measures would be aimed at preventing the erosion of the European Union member states' tax bases".

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Grenada and St Lucia named on European Union 'tax haven' blacklist