Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

European Union agrees on new tax haven blacklist of 17 countries

European Union agrees on new tax haven blacklist of 17 countries

South Korea, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Bahrain, Panama and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries named Tuesday as "non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes".

The UK's Guardian reported that the blacklist will be linked to European Union legislation so that jurisdictions implicated will not be eligible for funds from the bloc, except where funds are for development. The bloc plans to update the list at least once a year.

"The placement in the list must not be seen as the end game: on the contrary, the exercise is ongoing and remains a matter of cooperation between partners", he said.

The Government said that of the global tax standards the country has and hasn't adopted, "the sole outstanding issue is the implementation of the base erosion and profit shifting minimum standards, which we have committed to finalize by October 2018 and ratify by March 2019 - giving our federal structure sufficient time to allow for ratification across the seven emirates".

The EU has struggled for over a year to finalise the blacklist, with smaller, low-tax EU nations such as Ireland, Malta and Luxembourg anxious about scaring off multinationals.

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The list is a result of excessive screening of more third countries before the ministers made up their mind that these 17 non-EU countries will be blacklisted, while another 47 will be included in a separate gray list, to be monitored for their compliance with commitments undertaken.

The list of non-EU states was unveiled on Tuesday, a year after the leak of the Panama Papers - a massive amount of data from a prominent Panamanian law firm showing how the world's wealthy stash their assets.

He added the UAE was undergoing a reform process expected to finish by October 2018, which would ensure a "swift removal" of the country from EU's tax blacklist. "But one should not underestimate the effect of a black list", said Luxembourg's Pierre Gramegna. "We have adopted at European Union level a list of states which are not doing enough to fight tax evasion", Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, said in Brussels.

As for the Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis that also attended the meeting on behalf of the EU executive, he said that as a number of third countries have entered into commitments as regard to good tax governance and the European Commission "will be following up those commitments". "Unless we put a stop to all tax havens, the problem is just going to move from one place to the other", Eurodad wrote in a reply to the European Union decision.

He admitted however that some practices should be "prohibited" or "fought" in some member states.

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