EU may remove 8 countries from tax haven blacklist

18 Jan 18

The European Union may remove eight countries from its tax haven blacklist after the jurisdictions offered to change their tax rules. 

The bloc published its blacklist of countries that fell under its category of a tax haven last month, with 17 jurisdictions included, to tackle tax dodging.

But Panama, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Barbados, Grenada, Macao, Mongolia and Tunisia may be removed from the list as they have said they will change their tax rules, following EU officials’ recommendations.

The removal of Bahrain was also considered, but remains on the list along with American Samoa, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago.

The recommendation for delisting was made by the Code of Conduct Group, which consists of tax experts from the 28 EU member states.

If they are confirmed, the countries will be moved to the so-called grey list, which includes countries that have committed to change their tax rules on tax transparency and cooperation. It currently consists of 47 countries.

The EU was initially criticised by NGOs because it did not blacklist its member states.

NGOs said that a number of EU countries would meet the criteria set by the bloc if put to the test, including Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Malta. 

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