Corporate Tax News Issue 60 - November 2021

EU blacklist of noncooperative jurisdictions and grey list updated

The Council of the European Union announced on 5 October 2021 that it has decided to remove three jurisdictions—Anguilla, Dominica and Seychelles—from the EU list of noncooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes (blacklist). It also added Hong Kong and five other jurisdictions to its “watch list” (grey list).

Anguilla, Dominica and Seychelles had been included on the EU blacklist (Annex 1) because they failed to meet the EU’s tax transparency criteria of being ranked at least “largely compliant” by the OECD global forum regarding the exchange of information upon request. All three jurisdictions have committed to implementing good tax governance principles. The global forum will carry out a supplementary review of the tax systems, and pending the review, Anguilla, Dominica and Seychelles are included on the EU grey list (Annex II,), along with six other jurisdictions, i.e., Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Malaysia, North Macedonia, Qatar and Uruguay. Australia, Eswatini and Maldives were removed from Annex II, leaving Annex II with 15 jurisdictions. The grey list is used for jurisdictions that do not yet comply with all international tax standards but have committed to implementing tax good governance principles; these jurisdictions are subject to monitoring while they undertake to execute their commitments.

The EU list of noncooperative jurisdictions was first published in December 2017 and is a fundamental part of the EU’s efforts to deal with tax avoidance and harmful tax practices. The list initially included 17 jurisdictions, with jurisdictions added and removed over the past few years. The Council has revised the list of noncooperative jurisdictions and an accompanying state of play document twice a year since 2017.

Nine jurisdictions remain on the noncooperative list: American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, U.S. Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.

Susan Lyons