The Council of the European Union has added the Seychelles, Belize and Antigua and Barbuda to its list of 16 non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
All three jurisdictions were “found to be lacking with regard to the exchange of tax information on request”, the Council said in a statement on 17 October.
It also revealed that three jurisdictions were removed from the list, namely British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica and Marshall Islands.
With these updates, the EU list consists of the following 16 jurisdictions:
The Council said these jurisdictions were not yet cooperative on tax matters and “invited them to improve their legal framework” in order to resolve the identified issues.
This EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions includes countries that either have not engaged in a constructive dialogue with the EU on tax governance or have failed to deliver on their commitments to implement the necessary reforms.
Those reforms should aim to comply with a set of objective tax good governance criteria, which include tax transparency, fair taxation and implementation of international standards designed to prevent tax base erosion and profit shifting.
The code of conduct group (business taxation), the Council body which prepares the updates of the list, is cooperating closely with international bodies such as the OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) to promote tax good governance worldwide.
In this round of the EU list update, the Council added three jurisdictions to the list: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize and Seychelles. All three jurisdictions were found to be lacking with regard to the exchange of tax information on request.
British Virgin Islands was removed from the list as it has amended its framework on exchange of information on request and will be reassessed in accordance with the OECD standard.
Pending this reassessment this jurisdiction has been included in Annex II.
Costa Rica was delisted because it has amended the harmful aspects of its foreign source income exemption regime.
Marshall Islands was delisted as it has made significant progress in enforcement of economic substance requirements.
In addition to the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, the Council approved the usual state of play document (Annex II) which reflects the ongoing EU cooperation with its international partners and the commitments of these countries to reform their legislation to adhere to agreed tax good governance standards.
Its purpose is to recognise ongoing constructive work in the field of taxation, and to encourage the positive approach taken by cooperative jurisdictions to implement tax good governance principles.
Four jurisdictions were removed from the state of play document (Annex II). Jordan and Qatar fulfilled their commitments by amending a harmful tax regime. Montserrat and Thailand fulfilled all their pending commitments related to country-by-country reporting of taxes paid.
The EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes was established in December 2017. It is part of the EU’s external strategy on taxation and aims to contribute to ongoing efforts to promote tax good governance worldwide.
Jurisdictions are assessed on the basis of a set of criteria laid down by the Council. These criteria cover tax transparency, fair taxation and implementation of international standards designed to prevent tax base erosion and profit shifting. The chair of the code of conduct group conducts political and procedural dialogues with relevant international organisations and jurisdictions, where necessary.
Since 2020, the Council updates the list twice a year. The next revision of the list is scheduled for February 2024.
Source: International Investment