Panama recalls European Union ambassador over tax haven list

147;Tax havens will not disappear from our radars and we will keep the pressure on,” EU vice president Valdis Dombrovskis said

The 17 nations found to be non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes are: American Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macao, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.

They will face restrictions from receiving EU funding and investments from the European Investment Bank.

Other measures that could be taken at a national level - but which will be at the discretion of each country - include withholding tax measures, non-deductibility of costs, and special documentation requirements. Some states support tough restrictions against the listed tax havens such as exclusion from World Bank or European Union funding but the discussions are still ongoing.

According to the Independent UK, Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs on Tuesday said the adoption of the first-ever European Union blacklist of tax havens marks a key a key victory for transparency and fairness, but noted that the process does not stop here. That means they promote unfair tax practices, or don't share important financial information with the EU. "In the future, too, most countries will try to avoid being publicly shamed".

The screening of some Caribbean nations, including the British Virgin Islands, was put on hold because of damage caused by hurricanes in the region.

But some countries, including France, have said that listed jurisdictions should also face sanctions.

Panama's president Juan Carlos Varela objected to his country being on the list saying it is making progress against tax evasion
Panama's president Juan Carlos Varela objected to his country being on the list saying it is making progress against tax evasion

The EU has stepped up its efforts to combat tax avoidance in recent years after several high profile examples were made public.

The EU has struggled for more than a year to finalise the list, with smaller, low-tax EU nations such as Ireland, Malta and Luxembourg anxious that it may scare off multinationals.

It has also taken legal action against major firms including Amazon that have been accused of owing back taxes.

The bloc did not assess its own member states. The bloc has previously accused the Netherlands and Ireland of granting special tax treatment to Starbucks and Apple, respectively. Some did so by promising to clean up their act.

Fondi said UAE authorities would receive a letter from the European Union in coming days detailing what they could do to be removed from the blacklist. "Tax dodging means less money available for healthcare, education and the fight against poverty".

"We have committed to a reform process which will be finalised by October 2018, and we are absolutely confident this will ensure the UAE is swiftly removed from the list", the government said in a statement.

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