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EU’s newest list not a ‘blacklist’

| 22/06/2015 | 1 Comment
Cayman News Service

Pascal Saint-Amans, director, OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration

(CNS Business): According to the OECD, the EU Commission has confirmed that they have not yet decided which countries should be included on a new blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions and the list that they released on 17 June was “based on Member States’ independent national lists”. In an email the OECD said, “It is very unfortunate that this exercise has looked like the establishment of a list. Our EU colleagues have confirmed that this is not their intent.”

The EU list was released as part of its Comprehensive “Action Plan for Fair and Efficient Corporate Taxation in the EU”. However, the Paris based global economic organisation, the OECD, has suggested that its global forum is the only standard for truly assessing which countries are or are not cooperating on tax issues. Cayman and a number of other small financial services centres in the region were on the list. But the OECD said this and other jurisdictions were “fully or largely compliant”.

In an email to Cayman Islands Government, along with its fellow 126 members of the OECD’s Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, the OECD Centre for Tax Policy and Administration’s director, Pascal Saint-Amans, and the Global Forum Secretariat’s Head, Monica Bhatia, said that the European Union has incorporated the Global Forum’s terms of reference into its principles of good governance in tax but said it was not clear how this factored into the blacklists..

“The inclusion of harmful tax practices or ‘other criterion’ in determining inclusion in a national blacklist makes it impossible to determine how this independently reflects on a jurisdiction compliance with the Global Forum standards,” they said.

The international standard setting body said, “The only agreeable assessment of countries as regards their cooperation is made by the Global Forum” pointing to their compliance and commitment to the automatic exchange regime and the early adoption by some jurisdiction. The Cayman Islands is one such country that signed up for automatic exchange on tax information but was still blacklisted in this latest exercise by the EU.

“Without prejudice to countries’ sovereign positions, we are happy to confirm that these jurisdictions are cooperative and we would like to commend the tremendous progress made over the past years as well as the cooperation and integrity of the Global Forum process,” the OECD said, adding that it had already expressed its concerns and would be making it clear to the global media that the jurisdictions are compliant with the Global Forum standards.

Full text of the joint CTPA/Global Forum correspondence 19 June 2015

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Category: Finance, Financial Services

Comments (1)

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  1. cimboco says:

    The Cayman Islands should take The EU commission members to the International Courts for slander and damage to its reputation. Cayman has complied and over complied with all of their stupid demands and still they come up with this crap. I believe that the EU is run by incompetent spiteful people who do not really have a clue of how transparent and compliant the offshore sectors are being operated. I have said it before and I will say it again that they need to police their own citizens if they think they are acting outside of their guidelines and stop expecting The Cayman Islands and other jurisdictions to do their jobs for them. How much more do they expect us to do. It is all coming from ignorance and jealousy and they need to stop bad talking us. They should take care of their business and get out of the way of progress before they completely become fragmented and less irrelevant than they presently are.

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