Government hails EU tax haven blacklist

But critics argue that the effort is far too inadequate

In the wake of the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers leaks, the EU has set up a blacklist of nations identified as tax havens.

The countries have found themselves on the blacklist (read more here in English) because they fail to live up to EU criteria regarding tax transparency, fair taxation and the implementation of OECD standards.

“It’s appalling and unacceptable to put your money in a tax haven in order to avoid paying taxes, so I’m very pleased that the blacklist for tax havens sends a clear signal in co-operation with other EU nations,” said the tax minister, Karsten Lauritzen.

“It’s an important continuation of the recent years’ clear breakthrough in the international fight against tax evasion.”

READ MORE: Ten percent of Danish corporation tax lost to offshore tax havens every year

Impacting international relations
The 17 nations found to be non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes are: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macao, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

During the EU negotiations, there was support for a Danish proposal that the blacklist should be used actively by the EU in its foreign affairs dealings with the nations on the blacklist. In future, the blacklist will be updated annually based on actions taken by nations in terms of improving taxation processes.

Where EU at?
A number of critics, however, have pointed out that a tax haven list that doesn’t include any countries within the EU is absurd.

“Some of the biggest players within the realm of tax havens sit at the EU tables in Brussels – nations like Luxembourg and the Netherlands,” Hannah Brejnholt, a political tax consultant with aid organisation Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke, told BT.

“It sure would suit the European politicians to clean up in front of their own doors first.”

Other critics pointed to other countries missing from the list, such as the Bahamas, Malta, Ireland and the British Virgin Islands – to mention just a few.





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