The European Union (EU) has removed Aruba, Barbados and Bermuda from its tax haven blacklist, meaning no EU territories remain on the list.
The three islands had been added to the list in March after failures to change their tax rules, which the EU warned risked enabling tax evasion in other countries.
However, the EU has now removed Aruba from the list after it changed its legislation in line with the European body’s compliance guidance. Furthermore, Bermuda and Barbados have been moved from the blacklist to a ‘grey list’ after committing to addressing EU concerns. Countries on the grey list remain under EU scrutiny surrounding tax practices, but this gives them more time to become compliant.
Despite this, there are still concerns surrounding so-called ‘tax havens’. Chiara Putaturo, Oxfam’s EU Policy Advisor on Tax and Inequalities, said that the EU had “let some of the world’s worst tax havens off the hook”.
She warned that the reforms agreed by the countries would fail to stop them operating as tax havens.
“They will continue to offer very aggressive tax regimes and very low or zero corporate tax rates that facilitate large-scale tax dodging and encourage a damaging race to the bottom on corporate tax,” she added.