EU Adds Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Seychelles to List of Non-Cooperative Tax Jurisdictions

The EU Council has expanded its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, incorporating Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Seychelles while removing British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica, and Marshall Islands. The updated list now comprises 16 jurisdictions, signaling concerns about their lack of cooperation on tax matters.

The Council emphasizes the need for these jurisdictions to enhance their legal frameworks to address identified issues. The EU list identifies countries that have not engaged in constructive dialogue or failed to implement necessary reforms related to tax transparency, fair taxation, and international standards preventing tax base erosion and profit shifting.

The code of conduct group, collaborating with international bodies like the OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices, plays a crucial role in updating the list. In this round, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, and Seychelles were added due to deficiencies in exchanging tax information upon request.

Conversely, the British Virgin Islands was removed after amending its framework for exchanging information, pending reassessment according to OECD standards. Costa Rica was delisted for addressing harmful aspects of its foreign source income exemption regime, and Marshall Islands made substantial progress in enforcing economic substance requirements.

In addition to the list, the Council approved a state-of-play document reflecting ongoing EU cooperation and countries’ commitments to tax governance standards. Four jurisdictions were removed from this document, namely Jordan and Qatar for amending harmful tax regimes, and Montserrat and Thailand for fulfilling commitments related to country-by-country reporting of taxes paid.

Established in December 2017, the EU list aims to contribute to global tax governance efforts. The Council’s decisions, prepared by the code of conduct group, reflect the dynamic nature of this ongoing process. The next list revision is scheduled for February 2024, with the Council’s commitment to encouraging positive approaches and recognizing constructive efforts in taxation.

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