The EU’s finance ministers are reviewing their blacklist of tax havens at a time when revelations about tax avoidance by prominent politicians such as Minister Wopke Hoekstra have once again sparked outrage. But the list is not getting longer, but shorter.
According to insiders, of the twelve countries on the blacklist, three will be deleted that say they are improving their lives. These are the Seychelles, Dominica and Anguilla. The British Virgin Islands, the Caribbean tax haven where the letterbox company Hoekstra invested in was located, was removed from the list some time ago.
The list has been in existence since the end of 2017 and is updated twice a year. Only countries and areas outside the EU where the authorities levy (almost) no corporate tax, are not transparent or are unsympathetic to the fight against tax avoidance are eligible. The intention is for EU countries to monitor investments in such places more closely or to limit deductions.
MEPs and organizations such as Oxfam have been complaining for some time that the list is not sufficient. Numerous junctions in shortcuts of tax evaders would escape the dance.