(iomtoday) -- The clock is ticking on the Manx government over dealing with our greylisting by the EU.
But Chief Minister Howard Quayle says he is confident we will avoid getting put on a Brussels tax haven blacklist.
He told a Tynwald scrutiny committee last month that the island ’faces a very real danger’ of being blacklisted.
The Isle of Man escaped blacklisting by the European Union in December.
But we are one of 40 jurisdictions deemed not to be fully compliant with EU and international tax standards, the European Council naming the Isle of Man, alongside Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guernsey, Jersey and Vanuatu, as having tax regimes that ’facilitate offshore structures which attract profits without real economic activity’.
We were given a deadline of one year to address the concerns relating to ’economic substance’ - or face being put on the blacklist drawn up by the EU Code of Conduct group.
But Mr Quayle said there was still a need to establish exactly what the EU means by ’substance’.
He told iomtoday: ’Our officers are currently working with representatives from the EU Code of Conduct group to agree and get a greater understanding on what substance means.
’We will be working with other countries and our colleagues in the Crown Dependencies to ensure we can comply with international rules.
’The clock is ticking. We’ve got until December. The OECD is also working with us to ensure the Isle of Man is compliant with EU Code of Conduct rules and regulations by the deadline set. I’m confident we will do that.’
Brussels’ list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions has been criticised for not including any EU member states.
Mr Quayle insisted: ’Whatever we agree must be a global standard, including all EU member states, because if you get just a number of countries to comply all it will do is displace the issue.’
The Isle of Man was one of 92 jurisdictions screened by the Code of Conduct group last year as part of the process of setting up the tax haven list.
Only 20 were found to meet the criteria, and 72 others were asked to address deficiencies. Seventeen countries were initially put on the blacklist but that number has now been reduced to nine.
Some were removed, such as Panama, Grenada, Barbados and United Arab Emirates and new ones - Bahamas, St Kitts and Nevis and the US Virgin Islands - were added to the list.
Those on the list are currently American Samoa, Bahamas, Guam, Namibia, Palau, Samoa, St Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago and the US Virgin Islands.
The British Virgin Islands was added to the EU grey list in March.