Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

European Union states adopt new tax-haven blacklist, adding UAE

European Union states adopt new tax-haven blacklist, adding UAE

While Cayman dodged the blacklist of fifteen countries, which now includes Bermuda, this jurisdiction will still be monitored as it remains on a grey-list.

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In fact, over the course of past year, the Commission assessed 92 countries based on three criteria: tax transparency, good governance, and real economic activity, as well as one indicator, the existence of a zero corporate tax rate.

"The EU tax havens list is a true European success".

The first blacklist included 17 countries, and since its inauguration, 60 countries have met the Commission's requirements and "over 100 harmful regimes have been eliminated".

Sylvia Oliveira, Director, Bermuda International Long Term Insurers & Reinsurers (BILTIR), further stated: "The government of Bermuda assures us it is working at the highest levels to rectify the unfortunate placement of Bermuda on the EU's list of non-cooperative jurisdictions".

"Bermuda is compliant and we are confident that within a matter of weeks, that will be accepted by EU Member States and Bermuda will be removed from this list", Burt said.

The EU blacklist a nation if it discovered that its tax rules have loopholes that could make way for tax evasion to occur. He said: “Abic has been supportive throughout this process and is committed to continuing to work collaboratively with other industry groups to support the Bermuda Government in its efforts to meet European Union requirements.”.

Just before ministers met on Tuesday, the chair of the meeting, Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, told reporters he expected the decision to be delayed to May, surprising many European Union officials who believed a deal was close.

Member States have now agreed on a set of countermeasures, which they can choose to apply against countries on the blacklist, ranging from increased monitoring to anti-abuse provisions.

The largest review of the list since its adoption in December 2017 is expected to see the number of listed jurisdictions triple from the current five.

The EU Parliament's committee on financial crime said in a report adopted last week that Luxembourg, Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland, Malta and the Netherlands "display traits of a tax haven and facilitate aggressive tax planning".

"The blacklist has had a resounding effect on tax transparency and fairness worldwide", EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said in a statement.

"Since it was first adopted in late 2017, the list has proven its worth in promoting a cooperative manner to the EU's agenda of improving global tax practices, fighting tax avoidance, and improving good governance and transparency".

The countries already on the blacklist? "We are raising the bar of tax good governance globally and cutting out the opportunities for tax abuse", he added.

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