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AfricaMoney | June 26, 2017

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Mauritius features in EU blacklist of world’s 30 worst offending tax havens

Mauritius features in EU blacklist of world’s 30 worst offending tax havens

The European Commission has included Mauritius in a recently published list of the world’s 30 worst offending tax havens, and the blacklist also includes various well-known havens — among them the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Guernsey.(Image:mauritiusattractions.com)

A blacklist of the world’s 30 worst offending tax havens published by the European Commission includes Mauritius as well as the tiny Polynesian island of Niue, where 1,400 people live in semi-subsistence — but does not feature Luxembourg, the EU’s wealthy tax avoidance hub.

Besides Mauritius, the list also counts various well-known havens — among them the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Guernsey — but other jurisdictions that are commonly labeled as offshore tax avoidance hubs were notably missing. Jersey and Switzerland, for example, were not named.

Within Europe, it is Monaco, Lichtenstein and Andorra that have made it to the blacklist. The commission explained, however, that the list of 30 “non-cooperative jurisdictions” was designed only to assess non-EU members. As a result, the new register does not include countries such as the Netherlands, Ireland, or Luxembourg — all of which are under investigation by the European competition authorities, on suspiction of offering “sweetheart” tax deals to multinationals.

The report was announced alongside more substantive plans for reforming the way in which multinationals are taxed across the EU, under a framework proposal known as the Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (or, CCCTB).

The CCCTB will look to harmonise corporate income tax rules among member states in a further effort to combat aggressive tax avoidance. As expected, Pierre Moscovici, European commissioner with taxation responsibility, conceded that — in the first instance at least — the controversial “consolidated” element of tax reforms would have to be delayed.

Moscovici said: “Our current approach to corporate taxation no longer fits today’s reality. We are using outdated tools and unilateral measures to respond to the challenges of a digitalised, globalised economy.”

The full list is: Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brunei, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Grenada, Guernsey, Hong Kong,  Liberia, Liechtenstein, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Monaco, Montserrat, Nauru, Niue, Panama, Seychelles, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.

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