European officials have recommended that eight countries, including Panama and Tunisia be moved from the EU’s tax haven blacklist to its grey list, after they promise to reform, Financial Times reports on Tuesday.
The Europe Council’s group of tax experts – the so-called Code of Conduct group – recommended that EU Finance Ministers move Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macau, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and UAE off the list of “non-cooperative” tax jurisdictions at their regular meeting next Tuesday, according to a leaked memo, the Financial Times adds.
Critics argued that blacklisting Tunisia in December sat uncomfortably with European support for the north African state’s efforts to fight terrorism, attract foreign investment and deal with the fallout from turmoil in neighbouring Libya.
Tunisia had been working closely with officials to secure the move, after its reform commitments arrived too late to secure the move in December, The Financial underlined.
The council announced a blacklist of 17 countries on December 5 and most of those jurisdictions have been working on tax reforms to meet the bloc’s three criteria: have fair tax rules, meet transparency standards and implement anti profit-shifting measures set by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
If the leaked recommendation is approved by the ministers, Panama and the other seven countries would join nearly 50 other jurisdictions on the grey list which have one year to fulfill their commitments. Developing nations on the list have an extra year to reform.
The council’s analysis excluded 48 of the least developed nations, while eight hurricane-affected jurisdictions including the US Virgin Islands and the British territories of Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands, have extra time to respond.
TunisianMonitorOnLine (Source :Financial Times)