British territories included in EU tax haven crackdown

The European Union has published a list of “banned” tax havens as part of its efforts to crackdown on offshore tax avoidance – but has left many of the most renowned destinations off the register.

Seventeen countries have been named in the EU’s blacklist, including the likes of Barbados, South Korea, Panama, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

EU member states must now agree on what financial sanctions to impose.

A further 47 territories have been added as “ones to watch” – among them Jersey, Guernsey, Switzerland, and Turkey. These countries have reportedly pledged to bring their tax laws in line with EU requirements.

The British territories listed have until 2018 to deliver on reformed tax structures so corporations can no longer shield profits.

Pierre Moscovici, the EU’s tax commissioner, said: “This list represents substantial progress but it remains an insufficient response to the scale of tax evasion worldwide.”

According to recent figures, an estimated £506 billion is lost each year due to offshore tax avoidance.

The UK Treasury said: “Today’s publication marks an important step in our ongoing efforts to tackle tax avoidance and evasion internationally. This is clearly working, as over 40 jurisdictions have made significant commitments to reform as part of this process. For those that are on today’s list, we hope that this increased scrutiny and the potential for counter-measures will lead them to reconsider their approach.”

Both lists can be found here.