The European Council stated that a number of jurisdictions have not taken sufficient steps to implement their commitments by the agreed deadline, nor engaged in a meaningful dialogue that could lead to such commitments. Subsequently, the Council revised the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
Annex I – black list
The EU included the following jurisdictions in its list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions: Cayman Islands, Palau, Panama and Seychelles. Cayman Islands does not have appropriate measures in place relating to economic substance in the area of collective investment vehicles. Palau does not apply any automatic exchange of financial information, has not signed and ratified the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance as amended, and has not resolved these issues yet. Panama does not have a rating of at least “Largely Compliant” by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes for Exchange of Information on Request and has not resolved this issue yet. Seychelles has harmful preferential tax regimes and has not resolved these issues yet.
The 8 jurisdictions that were already listed are: American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.
Annex II – grey list
The Council endorsed the state of play set out in Annex II with respect to commitments taken by cooperative jurisdictions to implement tax good governance principles:
- Turkey, which is expected to make tangible progress in the effective implementation of the automatic exchange of information with all EU Member States, was granted until December 31, 2020 to do so;
- Anguilla and Turkey, which committed to have a sufficient rating by the end of 2018, are waiting for a supplementary review by the Global Forum;
- Botswana, a developing country without a financial centre, which committed to have a sufficient rating by the end of 2019, is waiting for a supplementary review by the Global Forum;
- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Eswatini, Jordan, Maldives, Mongolia, Namibia and Thailand are developing countries without a financial centre, which have made meaningful
progress in the delivery of their commitments, were granted until August 31, 2020 to sign the MAC and until August 30, 2021 to ratify the MAC;
- Saint Lucia, which committed to amend or abolish its foreign source income exemption regime by the end of 2019, has adopted sufficient amendments in line with its commitments and has committed to address a remaining issue by August 31, 2020;
- Australia and Morocco, which committed to amend or abolish their harmful tax regimes by end 2019, but were prevented from doing so due to a delayed process in the OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices, were granted until the end of 2020 to adapt their legislation;
- Namibia, which committed to amend or abolish its harmful tax regimes covering manufacturing activities and similar non-highly mobile activities by the end of 2019 and demonstrated tangible progress in initiating these reforms in 2019, was granted until August 31, 2020 to adapt its legislation;
- Jordan committed to amend or abolish harmful tax regimes by the end of 2020.
The Council foresees to update the two Annexes in October 2020.