Three major African countries have topped the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdiction in the world.
It may be recalled that the European Union had last Wednesday published its first list of international tax havens, tagged: ‘named and shamed” 30 territories on list of international tax havens.
EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told a news conference that “we are today publishing the top 30 non-cooperative jurisdictions consisting of those countries or territories that feature on at least 10 member states’ blacklists.”
The full list is: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Guernsey, Monaco, Mauritius, Liberia, Seychelles, Brunei, Hong Kong, Maldives, Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Grenada, Montserrat, Panama, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Turks and Caicos, US Virgin Islands.
On the list were three African countries namely: Liberia, Mauritius and Seychelles. This current list follows a previous list released by the EU in December 2017 of so-called non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. Countries on the list are deemed by the EU not to meet its set criteria for transparency because they do not comply with international standards on the exchange of information, have harmful tax regimes which result in unfair tax competition and have not committed to implement the OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) minimum standards.
Namibia was the only African country among the 17 countries listed in Annex 1, comprising of countries regarded by the EU as being non-cooperative.
Botswana, Eswatini, Mauritius, Morocco and Seychelles were listed in Annex 2. i.e. countries which are cooperative and have undertaken to successfully deliver the commitments they have made to align with the EU criteria within a set period.
Apparently worried about this development, The Nation learnt that the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) is reportedly in so in discussions with the EU about the listings. The ATAF Executive Secretary Logan Wort said: “ATAF has met with EU representatives and strongly rejected the EU listings which do not provide a fair picture as countries such as Namibia do not provide fertile grounds for tax avoidance. We informed them that the listings are bullying on the part of the EU.”
Countries on the list could be subjected to a range of sanctions by EU members. These could include, amongst others, being deprived of development aid and being subjected to stricter reporting requirements for multinationals with activities in listed jurisdictions.
Source: The Nation