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Barbados may face EU tax screen listing

SHAWN CUMBERBATCH, [email protected]

Barbados may face EU tax screen listing

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GOVERNMENT MIGHT FACE a future when for the umpteenth time it has to defend Barbados from a tax haven branding.

More than a year ago, authorities here reacted angrily and swiftly after European Union (EU) countries placed the island on a list of the world’s worst tax havens.

Now, while the Europeans have decided to take a different approach to the issue, Barbados has again been named on a list of 81 countries which EU member countries will have to decide if they need screening “for tax purposes”.

The EU released the information last week and said it was the “first step” of a new listing process which would see Barbados and other countries subjected to a “scorecard” process.

A “basic assessment of the potential risk level of these jurisdictions facilitating tax avoidance” concluded that Barbados was posing a risk in transparency and exchange of information (the jurisdictions’ status with regard to the international transparency standards that is, exchange of information on request and automatic exchange of information); and the existence of preferential tax regimes (the existence of potential preferential regimes, identified by the [European] Commission on the basis of publicly available information”.

Explaining how the process worked, the EU said its scorecard “is intended as a first basis for member states in the Code of Conduct group to decide which third country jurisdictions may be relevant to screen in more detail”.

“It is important to stress that the findings of the scoreboard are not sufficient to draw conclusions on whether a third country jurisdiction should be selected for screening or put on the common EU list,” it added.

“This scoreboard does not represent any judgement of third country jurisdictions, nor is it a preliminary EU list. It is an objective and robust data source, produced by the commission, to help member states in the next steps of the common EU listing process.

“It is now for member states in the Code of Conduct group to decide if and how they use the scoreboard in deciding on the third country jurisdictions to be screened.” (SC)