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EU Expands Tax Blacklist, Penalizing Non-Reformers

by Ulrika Lomas, Lowtax.net, Brussels
14 March, 2019

The EU has tripled its list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions to include 15 countries.

The European Council has announced the expansion of the list to include: Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Vanuatu. The Council said that these jurisdictions did not implement the commitments they had made to the EU regarding their tax regimes by the agreed deadline.

The original list, announced in December 2017, contained 17 jurisdictions. Since then, the EU has moved several jurisdictions to its "grey list" of countries that are cooperating with the EU to reform their tax policies. The last revision, in November 2018, left just five countries on the list: American Samoa, Guam, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and the US Virgin Islands. The EU said that no commitments have been made by these five countries since the blacklist was first adopted.

Barbados, the Marshall Islands, and the United Arab Emirates were also on the 2017 list but were moved to the grey list after they made commitments to improve their tax systems. The EU said that these commitments have not been followed, with the result that the jurisdictions have been returned to the black list.

Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Dominica, Fiji, Oman, and Vanuatu were not on the original list. However, they have been moved from the grey to the black list for the same reason.

34 territories remain on the grey list.

Eugen Toedorovici, the minister of finance of Romania, which currently holds the Council presidency, said: "Since it was first adopted in late 2017, the list has proven its worth in promoting forward in a cooperative manner the EU's agenda of improving global tax practices, fighting tax avoidance, and improving good governance and transparency: more than 30 jurisdictions have already delivered on their commitment to pass reforms."

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