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Belize dodges tax haven blacklist

Posted: Wednesday, December 6, 2017. 4:49 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Belize was excluded from the European Union’s (EU) Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) blacklist of global tax havens even though the country “failed to live up to EU tax standards” because it has pledged to improve in the area of fair taxation.

The EU blacklist list includes 17 countries: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, Korea (Republic of), Macau, the Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Scotiabank

The Council concluded that these countries are non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes because they did not meet Council criteria established in November 2016 and did not provide a sufficient commitment to meet these criteria in the future. These EU standards concern tax transparency and fair taxation and require implementation of the minimum standards set out in the OECD/G20 base erosion profit shifting (BEPS) plan agreements.

The EU agreed to not add countries to its blacklist of tax havens even if the country failed to live up to EU tax standards if the country made a sufficient commitment to change its ways.

Belize was among several jurisdictions that committed to amending or eliminating the existence of harmful tax regimes. Other countries that committed to doing the same include Andorra, Armenia, Aruba, Botswana, Cape Verde, Cook Islands, Curaçao, Fiji, Hong Kong SAR, Jordan, Labuan Island, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Morocco, Niue, St Vincent & Grenadines, San Marino, Seychelles, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Eight jurisdictions were not fully assessed because they were badly hit by the hurricanes in summer 2017 and were given until early 2018 to respond to the EU’s concerns. The countries omitted from consideration were Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, and US Virgin Islands.

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