Tuesday, 5 December 2017

EU crackdown on tax havens

The EU has placed 17 countries and territories on a tax haven blacklist and put a further 47 on notice. This follows the revelations contained in the Panama and the Paradise Papers, and estimates that about $673 billion is lost to governments each year due to aggressive tax avoidance.

The EU blacklist and will be linked to European legislation to ensure these jurisdictions will not be eligible for funds from the EU (except for development aid), but apart from that, no real sanctions were put in place.

The blacklist includes South Korea, Mongolia, Namibia, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, Guam, American Samoa, Barbados, Grenada, Macau, the Marshall Islands, Palau, St Lucia, Samoa and Tunisia. Interestingly, only three countries on this list - St Lucia, Grenada and Panama - are also actively engaged in residency- and citizenship by investment programmes.

Hopefully this will further counter the misperception that countries ‘selling’ 2nd passports are necessarily synonymous with blacklisted tax havens or involved in dubious tax practices.