The European Union on Tuesday pushed to create Europe’s first-ever blacklist of tax havens, AFP reported. The move follows the Paradise Papers leak, a trove of documents from two financial companies – Bermuda’s Appleby and Singapore’s Asiaciti – that have helped thousands of individuals and entities who had moved their money abroad and invested it in 19 tax havens.
The 28 members of the European Union have reportedly struggled for more than a year to create the list. Countries like Ireland, Malta and Luxembourg, as well as Britain have showed resistance. While the smaller countries have been worried about scaring off the major firms headquartered in their low tax capitals, Britain did not want to affect its dependencies like Jersey and the British Virgin Islands where nearly zero-tax rates are offered.
“It is important that this list comes out...in 2017, it must be credible and up to the challenge,” EU Economics Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, who is leading the effort to create the list, was quoted as saying.
Around 60 countries have been warned that they may be blacklisted because of their tax rules, AFP reported, citing unidentified officials. The countries have reportedly also been asked to reply with more information on their tax rules by November 18. The European Union’s finance ministers have said that they would make an attempt to bridge their differences and create an official list of unwanted tax havens by December.