Macau to leave tax haven ‘blacklist’ after complying with EU rules

16 Jan

Macau to leave tax haven ‘blacklist’

Macau is soon to leave the European Union’s (EU) tax haven ‘blacklist’. This change is part of a proposal on the part of EU officials which aims to remove eight out of 17 jurisdictions from the list, which was most recently updated last month.

Under the proposal, several news agencies reported that problematic jurisdictions – including Panama, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Barbados, Grenada, Mongolia, Tunisia and Macau – will be tentatively delisted this month.

Citing documents included in the proposal, Reuters say that Bahrain was another of the jurisdictions initially considered but then rejected from the group of territories recommended for de-listing.

Although there is no indication as to what the jurisdictions improved or changed in order to comply with the EU regulations, it is implied that a significant advance has been made to justify the removal.

Reuters also noted that the proposal will be discussed at a meeting of EU ambassadors today and that it is expected that EU finance ministers will adopt the resolutions when they meet next week in Brussels for their regular monthly talk.

In the meanwhile, and as proof that there was definitely something achieved by Macau in complying with EU regulations, another group, which includes American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, the Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa, and Trinidad and Tobago, is set to remain on the blacklist.

The proposal for the de-listing was made by the Code of Conduct Group, which gathers tax experts from the 28 EU member states to constantly monitor the commitment of countries and regions to abide by EU standards on tax matters.

The tax haven ‘blacklist’ was initially drawn in a bid to discourage the most aggressive tax dodging practices. It is expected that the strongest critics of the taxing policies that are conducted in some of the jurisdictions may see this de-listing as a blow to their campaign against tax avoidance.

Most notably, the shrinking of the blacklist is likely to be criticized by tax transparency groups. In December, some activists denounced the listing process as a whitewash and called for the inclusion in the blacklist of even some EU countries accused of facilitating tax avoidance, such as Luxembourg, Malta, Ireland and the Netherlands.

In response, EU officials said the purpose of the blacklist is to convince jurisdictions to become more transparent. They say that having fewer on the list means more countries have committed to change.
Source: Macau Daily

Photo credit: nunodantas on VisualHunt / CC BY-NC-SA

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