EU blacklist

On 6 October 2020, the Economic and Financial Affairs Council of the EU (ECOFIN) issued a revised list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes known as the EU ‘blacklist’.

The latest review of this list has added the island nations of Anguilla and Barbados, whilst delisting Oman and the Cayman Islands.

The EU has faced some criticism regarding its ‘blacklist’ from civil society groups who argue that the criteria for determining who is included is flawed, arbitrary, and perhaps even politically motivated.

The Cayman Islands are viewed by some as one of the world’s most notorious tax havens and when they were included on the blacklist back in February, it was seen as an encouraging step. The fact that they have now been removed is further proof that the process is not working.

The EU expects jurisdictions to be transparent with tax arrangements. Failure to comply can result in a jurisdiction being included on one of their lists.

Some opposed to the criteria for listing point out that a few EU companies base their head office in other jurisdictions to mitigate taxation in their own country; however, EU regulators are legally prohibited from listing EU member states on the lists.

The EU blacklist was adopted on 5 December 2017, and is updated twice a year. It currently consists of 12 jurisdictions.


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