Eight CARICOM along with other Caribbean countries are among the 30 non-cooperative tax jurisdictions most commonly listed by EU Member States.
The European Commission published these details in a list on Wednesday. It is based on Member States’ lists as they were communicated to the Commission in December 2014. The Commission will amend this list at least once a year to reflect changes to Member States’ national lists.
The eight CARICOM countries are Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis as well as St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Mikael Barfod said: “This list is “nothing new” as it is only a compilation of the lists of our Member States. It is part of the Commission’s attempt to develop a common EU wide approach to corporate taxation to ensure its transparency and fairness, when currently Member States have very different definitions even of what constitutes a tax haven”.
All non-cooperative tax jurisdictions identified by Member States are identified on the Commission’s website (see below). The 30 most commonly listed were highlighted in the Action Plan for Fair and Efficient Corporate Taxation in the EU.
The consolidated list is not an assessment by the Commission but a compilation of existing lists of EU Member States which looked at how non-EU countries and territories around the world apply standards of good tax governance. These standards vary, but generally include transparency, exchange of information and fair tax competition.
The consolidated list will allow EU Member States to compare their national lists in an easy and transparent way and can be used to screen non-cooperative tax jurisdictions and develop a common EU strategy to deal with them. As such, it will reinforce Member States’ collective defense systems against tax havens. This “Top 30” of non-cooperative jurisdictions is made up of countries that featured on at least 10 Member States’ lists.
As a next step, the Commission recommends that Member States (within the Code of Conduct Group) should screen the “top 30” listed countries and territories and determine an appropriate EU response. The Code Group’s work has delivered successful results in relation to non-EU countries in the past. For example, Switzerland agreed to eliminate some of its harmful corporate tax regimes following scrutiny by the Code Group.