EU might blacklist Serbia as a tax haven

The European Union might blacklist Turkey as a tax haven next month, in addition to 36 other countries including Serbia, Armenia and Cook Islands – Bloomberg reports after having seen the EU documents.

An EU working group tasked with screening “non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes” concluded that Turkey’s commitments to address transparency issues and abolish sweetheart tax regimes are so far “not sufficient,” according to people familiar with the matter and confidential documents seen by Bloomberg. The so-called Code of Conduct group could recommend to EU finance ministers to add non-compliant countries to a blacklist on 5th December.

The potential blacklisting comes as Germany is wielding its influence with international development institutions to restrict financing to Turkey from the state-owned KfW bank, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. German commercial banks are also reviewing their exposure to Turkey, officials familiar with the matter told Bloomberg last month, days after Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the EU may cut pre-accession funding to Turkey as a response to the country’s crackdown on its democratic institutions.

Ambassadors representing EU governments are due to discuss the list ahead of the finance ministers meeting. As many as 36 countries could be included according to the draft summary table dated Nov. 21 and seen by Bloomberg, including Serbia, Armenia, Cook Islands, Marshall Islands, Panama and Tunisia.

Seven Caribbean jurisdictions have been given additional leeway until February due to the damage suffered from recent hurricanes, while commitments by U.K. territories including Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey were deemed sufficient. A total of 92 jurisdictions are being screened, while the list is expected to be continuously updated.

(RTV, Bloomberg, 23.11.2017)


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