EU minister says ‘around 15’ countries on tax haven blacklist

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European Union finance ministers are unlikely to adopt a new blacklist of tax havens at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, told newsmen.

EU finance ministers are expected to sign off later in the day on the two lists, however Moscovici and others indicated that they had not quite been finalised by the start of the talks.

The EU introduced the blacklist in December 2017 amid broader efforts to clamp down on tax avoidance.

At present, only five jurisdictions are on the list, American Samoa, Guam, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Moscovici said that, on balance, the process has produced “huge results,’’ noting that over 100 tax regimes at first were on the two lists.

“Of those, around 60 have cooperated. The principle is quite simple, if a country takes its commitments and responsibilities, and changes its laws, then it gets off the list,” Moscovici added.

The updated black list is expected to include grey-listed states and jurisdictions that did not meet their commitments by the end of 2018.

However, there remains disagreement in the EU over some potential inclusions.

The German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Sunday that Britain and Romania are disputing two new additions, Barbados and Bermuda, while the inclusion of the United Arab Emirates is being blocked by Italy and the Czech Republic.

Moscovici and other meeting participants declined to comment on the United Arab Emirates.

Report says blacklisted jurisdictions face EU funding restrictions; however member states have disagreed on the need to impose further sanctions to encourage reform.

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