Is the EU 27 a Fiscal Haven?
About Tax Avoidance
There is sometimes a lot to be said for having a “name and shame” policy and this is something the European Union appears to agree with.
This is because Finance Ministers for the EU have published a “blacklist” of tax havens. This is all part of the crackdown on tax evasion that the EU is looking to take.
As you can imagine, this list hasn’t been rushed through quickly. The process has taken 10 months of investigation and then a further two years of debate and arguments to obtain national backing. However, at a meeting for ministers in Brussels, the list was finally concluded, allowing it to be released to the public.
At the Heart of EU Commission
There has been criticism of the EU list
Tax Avoidance vs Business-Friendly
The list has already received some criticism from the European Commission, who have made accusations against national Governments. There has been comments made about the sanctions being too light and that the possible punishments for countries on the list are not tough enough.
The nations who have been listed as tax havens include:
American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
All of these nations have been cited for not carrying out enough work to remove the opportunity for offshore avoidance schemes.
There was a list in 2015 which included Bermuda and the Cayman Islands but these destinations were not included in the new list.
It is hoped that there will be an annual release of the list so there will be a chance to see if countries do anything to make amendments or improve their status.
Grey List vs Black List
Some nations are on a grey list of fiscal havens
In addition to the nations on the black list, there are also 47 countries who find themselves on a “grey list”.
These are destinations which are considered to be tax havens but which said that they will do more to move their fiscal rules into something more in line with EU expectations.
It is hoped that this is going to be a major milestone for the EU and you can bet that many people will be glad to see the list being released after a lengthy struggle.
If the EU didn’t release this list, it was likely that many people would start to question their credibility when it comes to policing tax havens and murky financial activities.
At this point in time, there is a lot of focus on the EU, particularly in Britain. As we move towards Brexit, anything which shows the EU in a negative light is likely to be latched on, and you can see that some people in the UK will be happy about this.
A campaigner at the European Network on Debt and Development, Tove Maria Ryding, said that EU member states like the Netherlands, Ireland and Luxembourg need to do more to improve their behavior in this matter.
This is an area that the EU will have to focus on in the future and it is likely that many people will not back down in the battle.
2018 Global Business Hub
Despite Brexit, London gets top spot in the Mori Memorial Foundation.
There has been some doom and gloom in the London business sector due to Brexit and the Prime Minister’s weak position in the Brexit talks.
The impending threat of Brexit has left many business professionals wondering what is going to happen and at the moment, it is the uncertainty that is the biggest issue.
It is important to remember that London remains a hugely attractive business and finance hub, and there is a responsibility for all professionals to play their part in moving the community forward.
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