New Zealand Not Afraid of EU's Blacklist

New Zealand is not likely to end up on EU's blacklist despite the local media’s claim that New Zealand has been put on the EU's radar especially due to many links revealed by the Panama Papers, for which the European Union set up a special investigation committee.

Background: EU Blacklist

On July 6, the European Parliament welcomed the EU Commission plans to draw up a common EU blacklist of non-cooperative jurisdictions. Members of the Parliament said that the blacklisting procedure should include an “escalation” provision to allow for dialogue with the jurisdiction in which shortcomings have been identified before deciding to blacklist it. The EU Parliament also advocated sanctions against uncooperative jurisdictions.

EU requirements not met

The local media in New Zealand reported that the country won't meet all of the union's requirements, such as no tax exemption of foreign income, automatic exchange of information with foreign tax authorities in the jurisdictions where the settlers and beneficiaries are resident, and a public register of trust ownership and details.

However, blacklisting the jurisdictions will focus on uncooperative countries and especially those that are not going to cooperate to implement the OECD standards, Jeppe Kofod, the co-rapporteur of the EU's Panama Papers committee said.

"The Government is confident that any objective inquiry will come to the same conclusion that the OECD and the Global forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes did when they reviewed New Zealand's tax settings and found us to be fully compliant with OECD standards," Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse said.


"The sorts of questions around tax transparency and the tax framework we have, which considerably passes muster with the OECD, means I'm quite relaxed about any inquiry," Revenue Minister Michael Woodhouse said. He added that the government is aware of the EU investigation of Panama Papers but "have not received any advice from the European Commission that action is being considered against New Zealand." In connection to EU's blacklist, he also commented that "if the EU wants to look at some of the jurisdictions, perhaps they should look at little closer to home."

Sources: RNZ, NewsHub, Stuff, European Parliament

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