European Union adds 10 countries, including UAE, to tax blacklist: statement - Economy

Italian Economy Minister Tria attends a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels

Italian Economy Minister Tria attends a eurozone finance ministers meeting in Brussels

Industry groups on Bermuda including the Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR) have pledged their support to efforts by the Bermuda government to get the country removed from the European Union's so-called blacklist list of "non-cooperative" jurisdictions as quickly as possible.

The EU blacklist originally comprised 17 jurisdictions, including the UAE, but shrank to five after most listed states committed to change their tax rules.

Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, Oman, Vanuatu and Dominica were moved from the "grey list" to the blacklist for not abiding by commitments they had made.

The 28-nation European Union set up a tax haven blacklist nearly two years ago after revelations of widespread tax avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals. It was drawn up after revelations of widespread tax-avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to lower their tax bills.

Officials from the Cayman Islands Ministry of Financial Services said that government was pleased Cayman was not on the black-list, but they had expected to avoid it, having lived up to the commitments made to pass laws dealing with substance requirements and removing restrictions on certain types of companies from conducting business locally, as well as additional accounting and regulatory requirements.

The UAE "will continue to update its domestic legislative framework in this regard", it said.

Bermuda Premier David Burt expressed his surprise and disappointment at the EU's decision during a press conference yesterday, in which he stated that he believes the country has worked hard to craft a tax regime that now meets the required standards.

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The Pacific countries which were given a year to change their tax rules, join Samoa, American Samoa and Guam on the blacklist.

The UAE has made outstanding achievements in 2018, in line with its commitment to transparency and worldwide tax standards, where it joined in May 2018 the Inclusive Framework on the BEPS program to become the 116th jurisdiction to join this framework. The addition of these countries tripled the number of nations considered to be tax havens.

"Thanks to the listing process, dozens of countries have abolished harmful tax regimes and have come into line with global standards on transparency and fair taxation".

Decisions on tax matters require the backing of all 28 European Union member states.

The countries already on the blacklist?

The Council also said that it would continue to regularly review and update the list in the coming years to take into account evolving criteria and deadlines for jurisdictions to deliver on their commitments to improving their tax governance.

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