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EU adds 3 nations, British territory to 'tax haven' blacklist

EU adds 3 nations, British territory to 'tax haven' blacklist
Demonstrators gather in Panama City, Panama, on October 30, 2019, to oppose proposed against constitutional reforms. Panama was one of four governments added to an EU blacklist Tuesday. File Photo by Bienvenido Velasco/EPA-EFE

Feb. 18 (UPI) -- The European Union added three more nations and one territory to its tax haven "blacklist" Tuesday, saying they have not made sufficient reforms to comply with EU standards.

Those added to the list were Palau, Panama, Seychelles and the Cayman Islands, an autonomous British territory in the Caribbean.

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The EU weighs issues like tax transparency, fair taxation and real economic activity in determining whether a nation or territory should appear on the blacklist. In all cases, the governments are given a set period of time to come into compliance. The EU said Tuesday all four new governments failed to do so.

Palau, Panama, Seychelles and the Cayman Islands join eight other jurisdictions on the list, which was established in 2017 to prevent tax fraud and evasions. The EU also has a "gray list" of violators whose additions to the blacklist are pending.

The other eight on the list are American Samoa, Fiji, Guam, Samoa, Oman, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Blacklisted jurisdictions face damage to their reputations, higher scrutiny, and risk losing European Union funds.

Nearly a dozen nations and territories were also removed from the blacklist, now having qualified as compliant.

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"We have examined 95 countries' tax systems and the majority of these now comply with our good governance standards," said European Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni. "Our citizens expect the wealthiest individuals and corporations to pay their fair share in tax and any jurisdiction that enables them to avoid doing that must face the consequences."

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