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Fourteen Caribbean countries are among 30 territories blacklisted by the European Union (EU) as the world’s worst tax havens.
The list published by the EU on Wednesday includes Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the Turks and Caicos Islands and the US Virgin Islands.
Each of those countries, and the other 16 on the blacklist, had been suggested by at least 10 EU member states as problematic because they were not doing enough to crack down on tax avoidance.
Jurisdictions commonly labelled as offshore tax avoidance hubs, including Luxembourg, Jersey and Switzerland, were not on the list.
European Commissioner for economics, taxation and customs Pierre Moscovici said that publishing the list of “non-cooperative jurisdictions” was a decisive step in pushing the territories to adopt international standards.
“Our citizens can no longer tolerate that certain companies, often the most prosperous, avoid fair tax contributions and that certain tax regimes encourage them on this path,” he said.
The European Commission, the EU’s tax watchdog, issued the list at the same time it unveiled a plan for tackling corporate tax avoidance.
The aim of that plan is to tax companies where they earn their profits, rather than allowing firms to shift money into low-tax jurisdictions.
Moscovici said corporate tax needed a “radical reform” and all member states needed to “pull together” to ensure companies paid their way.
The others on the blacklist are: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Monaco, Mauritius, Liberia, Seychelles, Brunei, Hong Kong, Maldives, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands, Panama and Vanuatu.