EU tax haven blacklist not catching worst offenders

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs adopted a resolution setting out changes to be made to the system used to draw up the EU list of tax havens, which they deem is currently “confusing and ineffective”.

The EU’s list of tax havens, set up in 2017, has had a “positive impact” so far but has failed to “live up to its full potential, [with] jurisdictions currently on the list covering less than 2% of worldwide tax revenue losses”, MEPs said. In the resolution prepared by the Subcommittee on Tax Matters and adopted by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Thursday 43 votes in favour, 6 against and 5 abstentions, MEPs go on to call the current system “confusing and ineffective”.

The resolution proposes changes that would make the process of listing or delisting a country more transparent, consistent and impartial. It also proposes adding criteria to ensure that more countries are considered a tax haven and prevent countries from being removed from the blacklist too hastily. Finally, the resolution says that EU member states should also be screened to see if they display any characteristics of a tax haven, and those falling foul should be regarded as tax havens too.

Quote

After the vote, the Chair of the Subcommittee on Tax Matters, Paul Tang (S&D, NL) said:
“By calling the EU list of tax havens “confusing and inefficient”, the European Parliament tells it like it is. While the list can be a good tool, it is currently lacking an essential element: actual tax havens. Countries on the list account for just 2% of corporate tax avoidance! EU member states currently decide in secret which countries are tax havens, and do so based on vague criteria with no public or parliamentary scrutiny. This needs to change. If we focus on others, we also need to look ourselves in the mirror. And what we see is not pretty. EU countries are responsible for 36% of tax havens. The tax subcommittee commits itself to investigate and scrutinise all member states that are responsible for tax avoidance. Our work is only just starting.”

Widen the scope

MEPs say that the criterion for judging if a country’s tax system is fair or not needs to be widened to include more practices and not only preferential tax rates. The fact that the Cayman Islands has just been removed from the black list, while running a 0% tax rate policy, is proof enough of this, MEPs say. Among other measures proposed, the resolution therefore says that all jurisdictions with a 0% corporate tax rate or with no taxes on companies’ profits should be automatically placed on the blacklist.

Toughen the requirements

Being removed from the blacklist should not be the result of only token tweaks to that jurisdiction’s tax system, MEPs say, arguing that the Cayman Islands and Bermuda for example were delisted after “very minimal” changes and “weak enforcement measures”. The resolution therefore calls for screening criteria to be more stringent.

Fairness and transparency

The resolution says that all third countries need to be treated and screened fairly using the same criteria. The current list indicates that this is not the case and the lack of transparency with which it is drawn up and updated adds to these misgivings, the resolution says. MEPs call for the process of establishing the list to be formalised through a legally binding instrument. They question the ability and suitability of an informal body such as the Code of Conduct Group to carry out the mission of updating the blacklist. The resolution also sets out what type of disclosure is necessary.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN ‘determined to lead by example’ on disability rights: Guterres

Uzbekistan wins its long fight against malaria, as global rates continue to rise

The European Sting @ Mobile World Congress 2014, Creating What’s Next for the World. Can EU Policy follow?

Sri Lanka PM: This is how I will make my country rich by 2025

UK: Crawley group wins European Citizens’ Prize

Why is black plastic packaging so hard to recycle?

These 4 leaders are working to improve integration in Southeast Asia

EU4FairWork: Commission launches campaign to tackle undeclared work

New EU energy labels applicable from 1 March 2021

How to harness the energy of social innovators for an inclusive recovery

Brexit: No deal without marginalizing the hard Tory Eurosceptic MPs

EU Covid-19 Certificate: a European solution for free testing is needed

Outbreak of COVID-19: The third wave and the people

Drinking water: new plans to improve tap water quality and cut plastic litter

A better answer to the ventilator shortage as the pandemic rages on

New Mozambique storm rips off roofs, brings lashing rain as aid response kicks in

The hidden downside to ocean data and how to make it more sustainable

Two rhythms and a sharpened pencil: how art can help us heal and make sense of the world

Parliament supports European Green Deal and pushes for even higher ambitions

The European Union’s Balkan Double Standard

GSMA Reveals Global Partners for MWC21 Barelona

5 ways to be a better humanitarian

Further reforms needed for a stronger and more integrated Europe

Universal access to energy is a major challenge for the Arab world. Here’s why

Commission and Germany’s Presidency of the Council of the EU underline importance of the European Health Data Space

Energy of African youth ‘propelling’ new development era as UN ties bear fruit

Work Together to Build a New Type of International Relations and a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity

Deal agreed to protect consumers against misleading and unfair practices

Security Council urged to help spare Syrians from ‘devastation’

MWC 2016 LIVE: Getty chief says one in four new images from phones

Link between conflict and hunger worldwide, ‘all too persistent and deadly’, says new UN report

How a ‘fourth-sector economic strategy’ can help us build a better future for all

Amidst ‘high political tension’, UN chief appeals to G20 leaders for stronger commitment to climate action, economic cooperation

‘Think beyond farm jobs’ to reach sustainable development, UN agriculture chief advises African youth

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

Use “blockchain” model to cut small firms’ costs and empower citizens, urge MEPs

Antitrust: Commission provides guidance on allowing limited cooperation among businesses, especially for critical hospital medicines during the coronavirus outbreak

Gender Disparity in Medicine: Why and How Do We Close the Gap?

More than 100,000 people have recovered from COVID-19

Why is Merkel’s Germany so liberal with the refugees? Did the last elections change that?

Why cities hold the key to safe, orderly migration

How India will consume in 2030: 10 mega trends

Europe led by Germany seems vulnerable to Trump’s threats

Sustainable finance: Commission welcomes deal on an EU-wide classification system for sustainable investments (Taxonomy)

These are the 4 most likely scenarios for the future of energy

How do we go about improving mental health in the community and reducing suicide rates in the 15-29 age group?

Reception conditions for asylum-seekers agreed between MEPs and Council

Heart attacks and strokes are more common on high pollution days, data shows

Protecting migratory species in a rapidly changing world

China’s New Normal and Its Relevance to the EU

6 ways China and the United States could jumpstart trade reforms

GSMA Announces New Speakers for Mobile 360 Series – MENA, in association with The European Sting

Employers hold too much power over information. Workers must claim their data rights

New citizenship law in India ‘fundamentally discriminatory’: UN human rights office

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

The fight for female medical leadership

EU-China relations under investigation?

Thought AIs could never replace human imagination? Think again

Anti-Semitism ‘toxic to democracy’, UN expert warns, calling for better education

Beating cancer: Better protection of workers against cancer-causing chemicals

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s