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Belize removed from the EU List of “Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions for Tax Purposes”

Posted: Tuesday, February 20, 2024. 9:34 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Today, the European Union (EU) issued an updated list of “non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes” adopted by the European Union’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) at its meeting on 20 October 2023, removing Belize from the EU Annex I ‘blacklist’.

In acknowledging the EU’s action today, Minister of State for Finance, Economic Development, and Investment, Christopher Coye, said, “I welcome the EU’s action today as it not only demonstrates the EU’s recognition of Belize’s unshakeable commitment to the transparency of its tax and regulatory framework, as well as, in establishing an effective regime for the exchange of information on tax matters, but also corrects the false and unfair designation of Belize as a non-cooperative jurisdiction for tax purposes.”

In placing Belize on its Annex I list on 17 October 2023, the EU informed Belize that if in the coming months, the Global Forum on Tax Transparency and Exchange of Information (GF) received and approved a request by Belize to open a supplementary review of Belize’s compliance with the Exchange of Information on Request (EOIR) standard, then Belize would be removed from the Annex I list. 

In December of 2023, the Government of Belize submitted a request for Supplementary Review to the GF on the strength of its view that the substantial legislative amendments and other administrative and operational changes, which had already been made by Belize, effectively remedied the deficiencies identified in the July 2023 peer review report on Belize’s compliance with EOIR international standards. 

On 7 February 2024, the GF informed Belize that its request for a Supplementary Review was successful and that the review will launch in the first quarter of 2025.

Welcoming the news, Prime Minister John Briceño, said, “This is the culmination of the dedication and hard work of the team from the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Commission. My Government is proud of this tremendous achievement, and its reinforcement of the reputation of Belize as a place where firms and individuals of substance and good reputation can conduct and promote their business.”

The Prime Minister further underscored Belize’s unwavering commitment to working with its global partners in establishing a modern international tax framework, underpinned by the values of shared responsibility, mutual respect, accountability, and fairness.

 

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