EU’s Politically Biased Tax Haven Blacklist Excludes US and Switzerland

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Yves here. Only small fry get whacked for being tax havens. Remember Cyprus?

Originally published at Tax Justice Network

From Eurodad:

This week, European Union finance ministers agreed to establish a common EU blacklist of so-called “non-cooperative jurisdictions” – in other words, tax havens. With one tax scandal unfolding after the other, listing and sanctioning tax havens may seem like a good solution. However, as tempting as it may sound, this EU exercise is doomed to fail – and here’s why. 

. . . Tax havens are not an external matter to the EU, quite the contrary – some of the world’s most powerful tax havens are to be found in Europe.

For example, a new report from Oxfam uses European Commission (EC) data to analyse the role of the Netherlands as a corporate tax haven. It shows how the Netherlands is making large-scale tax avoidance possible and how Dutch regulations are an integral part of the international tax system that enables multinationals to avoid at least US$100 billion in taxes in developing countries every year. Several other EU Member States – such as Luxembourg, Ireland, Malta and the UK – have also been criticised for helping multinational corporations to avoid taxes. Yet you will not find any of these countries on a blacklist produced by the EU.


And try putting the United States on a blacklist. These are points we’ve made before, and why we’ve argued that lists based on verifiable objective criteria are the way forwards. Take a look, now, at this comparison we’ve done, of our (objectively verifiable) Financial Secrecy, versus the OECD’s heavily politicised Global Forum (GF), looking how each treats the various shenanigans offered by various countries.

As Eurodad put it:

“Only a year ago, in June 2015, the EC made an attempt to publish a list of countries considered to be uncooperative on tax matters. Not only did it exclude all EU countries, it also did not mention any of the EU’s traditional allies, such as Switzerland and the United States (US). This is in spite of the fact that the Financial Secrecy Index last year ranked Switzerland as the most important provider of international financial secrecy.”

See also Markus Meinzer’s article EU Tax Haven Blacklist – A Misguided Approach?

There’s plenty more from Eurodad: now read on.

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  1. Disturbed Voter

    Why is The City in London not included?

    Anglo-American imperialism. Switzerland is its own special … so special they want to give every citizen a free income … they have to have a lot of Saudi money on deposit to share out.

    1. tegnost

      The ones on the list are the ones they’re trying to drive funds from, the one’s not on the list are the one’s they want to drive the funds to?

  2. Alex morfesis

    German foundations ? Stiftung are very close to what would be classified as a charitable remainder trust in usa tax code…also, although shared amongst oecd, no real open american style registrars in eu…and apparently still no trust disclosures in eu if trust beneficiary is classified as a corporation or other entity…only trusts where the neophyte put their own name as benificiary is open to some type of closed loop revenue disclosures…
    And all this where there was a “taxable and thus reportable event”…

    Time will tell if this is all just smoke and mirrors…bread and circus…

    And that is if the revenue man (or woman) is allowed to try to do their job beyond bitch slapping the little people…my former muse in greece…her father was a bit higher up the ladder at the tax department…a deputy regional director of sorts…soon after the junta he started asking too many questions about the tobacco companies and rather small tax payments…his daughter did not have her dad there for her high school graduation…nor college, nor law school…he would not take the bribes offered so they accidented him…and then also his close friend, an md, who questioned the autopsy…

  3. TheCatSaid

    And what about those special trusts that can be set up in Scotland and elsewhere? Do they show up as UK tax havens?

  4. TheCatSaid

    USA should be evaluated on a state-by-state basis.
    It should definitely be on the list, in any case!

    Perhaps the OECD list is shiny object to distract us from the biggest offenders.

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