EUROPE: Redefining 'Tax Paradise'.

As published on neweurope.eu, Monday December 9, 2019.


A policy proposal presented by the Danish government last week calls for a wider scope in the operative definition of tax avoidance and tax evasion.

The Danish position paper is said to have the support of the European Commission, Germany, France, Spain, and Austria Reuters reported on Sunday.

In September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) listed the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland, as world-leading tax havens, together with Hong Kong, Singapore, and Switzerland, and a number of British overseas jurisdictions. None of them is on the EU list blacklist.

The current EU blacklist was first drawn in 2017 and lists over 60 states, many of whom lobbied intensely to be removed, which in effect requires the recognition of token “progress” in measures taken to improve their tax regime.

The operative EU definitions of tax avoidance and tax evasion are to be reviewed during the Croatian Presidency. For the moment, practices such as a 0% corporate tax rate or a 0% charge on intellectual rights are not sufficient conditions to be listed as a “tax paradise.”

Tax commissioner Paolo Gentiloni has pledged to work for sanctions against blacklisted jurisdictions that will go beyond curbs on EU funding.

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