EU adds Cayman Islands, Seychelles, Panama to tax haven blacklist

Pedro Gonçalves
EU adds Cayman Islands, Seychelles, Panama to tax haven blacklist

The European Union has added Panama, the Seychelles, the Cayman Islands and Palau to its blacklist of tax havens and jurisdictions.

Turkey however got more time to avoid listing despite shortfalls, according to an EU document. 

The list, which was set up in 2017 after revelations of widespread tax evasion and avoidance schemes, now includes 12 jurisdictions. The other listed jurisdictions are Fiji, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and the three US territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.

EU27 ambassadors made the decision to place the Cayman Islands on the blacklist less than a month after the UK's exit from the EU. The British overseas territory in the Caribbean was listed because investment funds based there do not reflect real economic activity on the archipelago, the document said. That could lead to investment vehicles being created solely to reduce taxes in other jurisdictions.

Seychelles was added to the blacklist because it has an "harmful preferential tax regime". Panama and the Pacific island of Palau were added because of shortcomings over exchanges of tax information.

The EU has set up the system to sanction those it deems guilty of unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes.

Turkey failed to execute automatic transfers of tax information with all EU states but was granted more time to fulfil its commitments, because it has adopted legislative changes to allow data sharing, the EU document said, Reuters first reported.


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