L&M Finance Group


Based on the website of the European Commission, on 12 March 2019, the EU’s so-called “Black list of offshores”, or the List of non-cooperative jurisdictions (the List) was supplemented by 10 more countries, namely: Barbados, United Arab Emirates, Marshall Islands, Aruba, Belize, Bermuda, Fiji, Oman, Vanuatu and Dominic. Such trends had been announced earlier by the EU Minister of Finance, Pierre Moscovici, however, the information has appeared at the official level only recently.
Quick Bit of History
The List is a mean for Member States to overcome the external risks of abuse of unfair tax competition. It was first mentioned in the External Strategy for Effective Taxation for 2016 of the European Commission, which reflected that one EU list would be developed, which would overweight a mixture of national lists and would have a restraining effect on problematic third countries. Member States supported this idea and agreed the List in December 2017. This List is the result of a thorough review of 92 jurisdictions using the following internationally recognized criteria:
  • compliance with tax transparency requirements;
  • соответствие требованиям справедливого налогообложения;
  • taking measures against the erosion of the base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS).
According to the European Commission, new measures have been developed and proposed at the EU level that will ensure the real impact of the List.
Firstly, funds from certain EU financial institutions (e.g. the European Fund for Sustainable Development) must not be channelled through organizations in the countries listed.
Secondly, in accordance with the new EU requirements, tax schemes passing through the country in the list will be automatically notified to tax authorities. State reporting requirements will also include more stringent reporting requirements for companies operating in these jurisdictions.
In addition to the provisions on EU level, the EU member states have agreed to establish sanctions at the national level in respect of the listed jurisdictions. These include such measures as strengthening monitoring and inspections, withholding taxes, special documentation requirements and provisions prohibiting abuse.
Based on the attitudes, the list and measures could might even be tightened in the future.