The European Union on Tuesday named Antigua and Barbuda and Belize as the latest Caricom countries to its list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes.
In addition, the EU also named Seychelles to the list, while at the same time removing the British Virgin Islands, Costa Rica and Marshall Islands from the list.
The EU said that apart from the new additions, the other Caribbean countries included in its 16 non-cooperative jurisdictions are Anguilla, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago, and Turks & Caicos Islands.
“The council regrets that these jurisdictions are not yet cooperative on tax matters, and invites them to improve their legal framework in order to resolve the identified issues,” the EU said in a statement.
It said that the EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions includes countries that either have not engaged in a constructive dialogue with the EU on tax governance or have failed to deliver on their commitments to implement the necessary reforms.
“Those reforms should aim to comply with a set of objective tax good-governance criteria, which include tax transparency, fair taxation, and implementation of international standards designed to prevent tax base erosion and profit shifting.”
It said the council body that prepares the updates of the list is cooperating closely with international bodies such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Forum on Harmful Tax Practices to promote tax good governance worldwide.
With regard to the new additions, the EU said “all three jurisdictions were found to be lacking with regard to the exchange of tax information on request.
“British Virgin Islands was removed from the list as it has amended its framework on exchange of information on request and will be reassessed in accordance with the OECD standard,” said the EU.
“Pending this reassessment, this jurisdiction has been included in Annex II. Costa Rica was delisted because it has amended the harmful aspects of its foreign source income exemption regime. Marshall Islands was delisted as it has made significant progress in enforcement of economic substance requirements.”
In addition to the list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, the council approved the usual state of play document regarding commitments from various jurisdictions to reform their legislation to adhere to agreed tax governance standards.
“Its purpose is to recognise ongoing constructive work in the field of taxation, and to encourage the positive approach taken by cooperative jurisdictions to implement tax good-governance principles,” the EU said.
Four jurisdictions , including Montserrat, were removed from the state of play document, having “fulfilled all their pending commitments related to country-by-country reporting of taxes paid”.
The EU list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions was established in December 2017.
Jurisdictions are assessed on set criteria covering tax transparency, fair taxation and implementation of international standards designed to prevent tax base erosion and profit shifting.