European Union blacklists 17 nations as tax avoidance havens

The European Union has blacklisted 17 global tax havens at a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels

EU creates blacklist of 17 'tax haven' countries

Potential countermeasures that have been tabled on behalf of the European Commission, include limiting access for listed jurisdictions to the European Fund for Sustainable Development, as EU-28 level measures, while the member states could on a country to country bass reinforce monitoring of transactions, increase audit risks for taxpayers benefiting from the regimes at stake or for those using structure involving these jurisdictions.

Also on the list are American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. 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 Council said countries may adopt further measures at their discretion, like non-deductibility of costs, controlled foreign company (CFC) rules, withholding tax measures, limitations on the participation exemption, a switch-over rule, a reversal of the burden of proof, special documentation requirements, or provisions requiring mandatory disclosure by tax intermediaries of specific tax schemes with respect to cross-border arrangements.

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The screening of some Caribbean nations, including the British Virgin Islands, was put on hold because of damage caused by hurricanes in the region.

The EU has stepped up its efforts to combat tax avoidance in recent years after several high profile examples were made public.

As the European Commissioner for Tax Pierre Moscovici has repeatedly said during the last period, the list is both dynamic and a way for those countries to forget their bad practices in order to make their way out of this list of shame.

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It has also taken legal action against major firms including Amazon that have been accused of owing back taxes.

The bloc did not assess its own member states. Lower-tax countries like Ireland and the Netherlands argue that will hurt Europe's competitiveness.

"We were aware of the monitoring done, but right now we only saw the list online and are awaiting communications from the European Union as to what are the reasons or the reason for us be placed on the list", he said, reports Now Grenada. "Tax dodging means less money available for healthcare, education and the fight against poverty".

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WIC News understands that the list will be updated regularly.

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