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September 26, 2016

EU to draw up common list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions

By Vincent Huck

The European Commission (EC) has announced it will draw up a pan-EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions by the end of 2017, a measure which forms part of a broader action plan to reform corporate taxation in the EU.

“Member States agree that a single EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions will carry much more weight than the current patchwork of national lists when dealing with non-EU countries that refuse to comply with international tax good governance standards,” the EC explained. “An EU list will also prevent aggressive tax planners from abusing mismatches between the different national systems.”

The EC as part of announcing the action plan published a pan-EU list of third countries and territories blacklisted by Member States (accessible here).

Other key action part of the EC’s action plan are a strategy to re-launch the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB) and a framework to ensure effective taxation where profits are generated and launching a public consultation to assess whether companies should have to publicly disclose certain tax information.

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, said: "Corporate taxation in the EU needs radical reform. In the interests of growth, competitiveness and fairness, Member States need to pull together and everyone must pay their fair share. The Commission has today laid the foundation for a new approach to corporate taxation in the EU. Member States must now build on it."

The EC announcements came two weeks before the European Parliament’s Panama Papers committee kicked off its enquiry. The committee is due to start its work on Tuesday 27 September by hearing the journalists who contributed to break the story about the tax avoidance scandal of wealthy clients hiding their fortunes in offshore entities. (More on this story here)

More information on the EC’s pan-EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions can be found on the commission’s website

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