European Union blacklists South Korea and UAE as tax havens

John Riva

Le Maire is reported to have said that other 47 jurisdictions are included in a public "grey" list of countries that are now not compliant with European Union standards but have committed to change their tax rules.

The EU's penalties on the blacklisted countries still need to be confirmed.

The EU had struggled for more than a year to agree on the list due to internal divisions.

South Korea slammed the European Union (EU)'s decision on Wednesday to put Asia's fourth-largest economy on a new EU blacklist of tax havens, saying that its inclusion is "not in accordance with worldwide standards" and poses the risk of "violating taxation sovereignty".

The papers made public some of the intricate ways the world's richest individuals and entities evade paying taxes using offshore havens.

The EU has struggled for more than a year to finalise the list, with smaller, low-tax EU nations such as Ireland, Malta and Luxembourg anxious that it may scare off multinationals.

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An additional 47 jurisdictions were also placed on a newly established "grey list" - a roll call of countries which are also deemed non-compliant, but have committed to changing their tax rules.

Potential sanctions that could be enforced on members of the list are expected to be agreed in the coming weeks.

"This list represents substantial progress".

Explaining the factors that led to the blacklisting of Namibia, Schlettwein said it was simply due to a deadline date miscommunication.

The EU further claims countries on its list have not committed to implement the OECD's Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) minimum standards, nor did they comply with global standards on automatic exchange of information and information exchange on request. There were about 20 countries that are thought to facilitate tax evasion and November's Paradise Papers leak gave the initiative a new momentum. That means they promote unfair tax practices, or don't share important financial information with the EU.

"Some Caribbean islands in particular were operating to very poor standards, sometimes to the cost of the British government", the former business secretary said.

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