The blacklists of Tax havens: the limits of the exercise

The blacklists of Tax havens: the limits of the exercise

The amount of jurisdictions that are added to the blacklist of Tax Havens are multiplying today, in order to fight offshore companies, which, in fact, is likely to create a real confusion about the criteria selected and which countries actually applies under the criteria of tax havens.

Multiplicity of Tax Havens blacklists:

The European Union has registered seventeen countries in this list, the O.C.D.E. only one country … while the O.N.G. Oxfam have listed at least thirty five countries!

However, the current European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, assures that there is no competition in this matter, after the publication on 5th December by the Member States of the European Union confirming a list of seventeen countries considered as tax havens.

At this time only one country is added in the blacklist by O.C.D.E. which is Trinidad and Tobago, which is the only jurisdiction that still meets the current criteria to be considered not to have made sufficient progress towards tax transparency standards of which the main attention is to automatic information exchange.

How to explain these differences between the two institutions? For O.C.D.E., it is not relevant to require developing countries that are not financial centres to carry out the automatic exchange of intelligence, because of the necessary establishment of binding and technical protocols.

The listed Countries do not accept these differences in treatment and criteria :

After the publication of the blacklist of tax havens in the U.E., several targeted countries are protesting, as South Korea – G20 member country! – denouncing a decision that runs counter to international standards and is likely to undermine the fiscal sovereignty and image of South Korea.

Similarly, Panama – which had applied provisions last year, to escape the black list of O.C.D.E. – also denounces an arbitrary and discriminatory registration, having discovered to appear on the blacklist of the European Union.

Thus, the existence of two such different black lists may create misunderstanding among the countries targeted by these international organizations, which, after having followed the recommendations of the OECD, will not know where to turn now.

The limits of the blacklist of the European Union:

In fact, the European initiative may at first sight be interesting because it goes beyond the automatic exchange of information – the basic principle of O.C.D.E. However, a huge limit is worth highlighting; no member of the European Union is on this blacklist of tax havens!

Much of today’s tax evasion occurs in the EU Member States, such as Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Ireland. According to Brussels, these countries are tax havens … but they allow to access it!

Let us not forget the US, which has not signed the automatic exchange of information agreements and some states of which are still clearly visible in international tax optimization schemes and allow massive tax evasion.

For the Oxfam, given the criteria, the European Union could only lead to a list of micro-states without the big tax havens. The Oxfam has compiled a blacklist of tax havens on which four countries are the members of European Union (Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands), Switzerland and the jurisdictions under British protection such as Gibraltar and the Bahamas.

Written by 20worldoffshore15