Tuesday, 12 December, 2017

Tax havens are blacklisted by EU

EU creates blacklist of 17 'tax haven' countries EU blacklists 17 tax havens for failing to comply with tax transparency
Velma Reese | 07 December, 2017, 03:38

The announcement comes less than a month after the publication of the Paradise Papers, a global leak containing information about individuals and companies holding offshore finances.

Britain fought particularly hard against the list, afraid that its crown dependencies, including Jersey and the Virgin Islands, would be singled out.

Also included on the blacklist were American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago and Tunisia.

Other jurisdictions are understood to have been given leeway after suffering severe damage during hurricanes in the Caribbean earlier this year.

The new list was drafted by the European Council's Code of Conduct (COC), a group comprised of finance ministers from EU member states, including the UK.

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.

Air pollution can impair brain development in babies, warns UNICEF report
Unicef said breathing particulate air pollution could damage brain tissue and undermine cognitive development. Air pollution has already been linked to asthma, bronchitis, and other long-term respiratory diseases.

"If EU governments really wanted to get rid of tax havens, they should be open about the fact that several EU Member States, such as Luxembourg, Ireland and the Netherlands, also have to fundamentally change their behaviour". Other states are unwilling to draw up common measures in belief that responsibility is better left to member states.

Blacklisted countries face wide-ranging sanctions including the loss of access to European Union funds, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said.

An existing list of tax havens compiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) now includes only Trinidad and Tobago.

The EU says it will update the list at least annually.

Countries in the EU's firing line have been given an opportunity to stay off the list if they provide a political commitment and a detailed plan to comply.

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