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Switzerland and the UAE removed from EU tax haven lists

Finance ministers in the European Union are expected to take Switzerland and the UAE off its list of tax haven jurisdictions on 10 October

In December 2017, finance ministers in the EU set up lists of tax havens that didn’t comply with its standards.

The blacklist named countries or jurisdictions that did not cooperate with the EU on tax matters – the United Arab Emirates will now be dropped from that list for the first time, as will the Marshall Islands.

Nine jurisdictions remain on the blacklist, including three US territories – American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands – as well as Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Oman, Samoa, and Fiji.

These still face strict transaction controls if dealing with the EU. The grey list, by contrast, names countries that have committed to reform their tax regimes and includes the Cayman Islands, Turkey, Bermuda and the Bahamas.

Switzerland will be removed from the grey list, demonstrating that the country has delivered on its commitment to make its tax rules compliant. Switzerland was placed on the grey list in December 2017.

There had been some concern that it would be blacklisted after Swiss voters rejected a major overhaul of corporate tax in early 2017, largely over fears that big companies would benefit at the expense of smaller businesses.

Originally published in Economia on 7 October 2019.