21:50 GMT +314 October 2019
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    UAE, Switzerland Removed From EU's Blacklist of Tax Havens

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    In late 2017, Brussels issued a blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions which are not doing enough to tackle tax evasion or to fight money laundering, and a grey list of countries that are not transparent enough to comply with the bloc's regulations.

    The EU has removed the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland and the Marshall Islands from its list of countries that are thought to act as tax havens.

    "The Council agreed to remove the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Marshall Islands from the EU's list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes," the bloc said in a statement.

    The decision was made in recognition of reforms pursued by the two countries to "implement the commitments they had made to improve by the end of 2018 their tax policy framework."

    The bloc ruled that the UAE was "now compliant with all commitments on tax cooperation and can be delisted."

    The Marshall Islands, however, will still continue to be monitored for commitments on exchanges of information pending the results of the review by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

    "Albania, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Serbia and Switzerland have implemented ahead of their deadline all necessary reforms to comply with EU tax good governance principles," the EU added.

    The EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions was initially proposed in 2016 as a tool for EU member states to avoid external risks of tax abuse. The first list of third countries with problematic tax governance standards was published in December 2017 and included American Samoa, Guam and the US Virgin Islands.

    At that time the Council also placed a number of countries into its so-called "Gray List," providing them with recommendations to bring their tax transparency standards into line with international norms. The Council has reported that over 20 countries, out of the 92 taken into consideration, have taken steps to improve their tax governance.

    According to the Council, 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.

    Tags:
    money laundering, tax haven, blacklist, Switzerland, UAE
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