The Council waves good-bye to grey-listed tax havens!

Photo @Simon Dannhauer / Shutterstock

The Council published today its revision of the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.

It is interesting to note that the underlying maths of the Council’s communication do not add up, nor do they match previous communications. However, by comparing the new information with previous one (from November 2018) we now have this:

  • Jurisdictions added to the list: in addition to the 5 jurisdictions that were already listed (American Samoa, Guam, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and US Virgin Islands), the revised EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions now also includes the following 10: Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Oman, United Arab Emirates, andVanuatu.  Those jurisdictions were on the grey-list, and had committed to implementing the agreed commitments before December 2018, but have apparently not fulfilled them.
  • Jurisdictions added to the grey-list: Australia and Costa Rica were 2 jurisdictions which had originally been among the 20 cleared jurisdictions, but apparently they had committed to implement changes in 2018 and now they have pushed their commitments to 2019. We say “apparently” because such letters (allegedly “comfort letters”) were never made public.
  • Jurisdictions removed from the grey-list: Bahrain, Faroe Island, Greenland, Grenada, Guernsey, Hong Kong SAR China, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Labuan Island, Macau, Malaysia, New Caledonia, Panama,  Qatar, South Korea, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Taiwan, Tunisia, Turks & Caicos, and Uruguay. Yes… your eyes are not fooling you, several infamous tax havens have been magically cleared!
  • Jurisdictions granted more time that continue to be on the grey-list but have not made it on the blacklist even when they have not fulfilled their commitments: Anguilla, Australia, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Maldives, Morocco, Niue, Switzerland.

This is indeed in line with Oxfam’s recent report, which had alerted some problematic de-listings to come today!

EU blacklist, grey-list and cleared list as of today (March 2019 changes highlighted in red):

 

Read previous  post on the EU tax haven blacklist here.