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Brussels consults on tax haven blacklist

15 September 2016, 21:43 CET
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Brussels consults on tax haven blacklist

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(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission released Thursday a draft list of countries suspected of facilitating tax avoidance, leaving EU Member States to choose which countries deserve closer scrutiny of their taxation practices.

A process to establish a common EU list of countries that do not play by the rules when it comes to taxation was launched in January as part of a broader agenda to curb tax evasion and avoidance.

The current patchwork of national lists when dealing with non-EU countries that refuse to comply with international tax good governance standards would be replaced by a common EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions.

The Commission says an EU list would also prevent aggressive tax planners from abusing mismatches between the different national systems.

"The EU takes its international tax good governance commitments seriously", said Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. "It is reasonable for us to expect the same from our international partners. We want to have fair and open discussions with our partners on tax issues that concern us all in the global community. The EU list will be our tool to deal with third countries that refuse to play fair."

The aim is to publish the definitive list of non-cooperative jurisdictions by the end of 2017. Member States have already given their backing to this approach, which has strong support from the European Parliament.

The aim of the scoreboard, says the Commission, is to help Member States determine which countries the EU should start a dialogue with regarding tax good governance issues. The first draft was based on "neutral and objective indicators", including economic data, financial activity, institutional and legal structures and basic tax good governance standards.

Further information

EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions - Questions and Answers

Scoreboard of Indicators

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