UK and International Tax news

Further Amendments To EU List Of Non Cooperative Jurisdictions

Wednesday 22nd May 2019

The Council of the EU has recently revised the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in taxation matters originally published in December 2017 and this Black List now includes 12 jurisdictions.

The EU’s original list was established following a screening and a dialogue conducted during 2017 with a large number of third country jurisdictions. Those that appeared on that list failed to take meaningful action to address deficiencies identified and did not engage in a meaningful dialogue on the basis of the EU’s criteria. They made no such commitment at a high political level in time for the Council meeting.

Of the 213 countries selected, 92 were chosen for screening, 20 were given the all clear whilst the other 72 were asked to address deficiencies. 47 committed to improve transparency, stop harmful tax practices, introduce substance requirements and implement OECD BEPS measures. 8 hurricane countries were given more time. This left 17 countries which were placed on the EU list.

Most jurisdictions chose to engage with the EU process through a constructive dialogue, and to take steps towards resolving issues identified.

Since December 2017, new commitment letters were received from eight jurisdictions and, after assessment of the commitments made, ECOFIN agreed that those jurisdictions be moved from Annex 1 to Annex II of the original Council paper. The jurisdictions that remain on the list have been strongly encouraged to make the changes requested of them. Their tax legislation, policies and administrative practices result or may result in a loss of revenues for the EU’s member states.

By the end of 2018, five jurisdictions remained on the black list. However, in early 2019 the monitoring process identified a further ten jurisdictions had failed to deliver on their commitments by the agreed deadline and were added back to the black list in March 2019.

At last week’s ECOFIN meeting, it was agreed to remove three territories from the list which now includes 12 jurisdictions, being American Samoa, Belize, Dominica, Fiji, Guam, Marshall Islands, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, UAE, US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.

The EC has also confirmed that its screening process is to be enhanced with more compulsory transparency criteria to be respected and three G20 countries added to the next screening, being Argentina, Mexico and Russia.


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