On December 5th 2017, the EU (European Union) announced a list of 17 nations that it considered to be ‘non-cooperative taxation jurisdictions’, and the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Macau was one of the 17. The blacklist was based on 3 factors – tax transparency, fair taxation and the implementation of anti-BEPS measures.
However, on Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, the EU struck Macau off this tax haven blacklist and the Macau SAR government welcomed this decision of being taken off this embarrassing list. The decision to take them off this list came after the government outlined measures to address the issues at hand.
In an official statement, the Macau government said, “The government of the Macau Special Administrative Region reiterates its effort to work together with the international community on fighting against cross-border tax evasion as well as actively improving the work in the scope of tax transparency and fair taxation.” The central government has already given Macau the green light to sign an international document on this matter – the ‘Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement’.
The EU had previously listed the Asian gambling hub as a tax-avoidance nation but has now taken them off that list. The Macau government has been constantly in contact with the EU to describe the work progress. Along with Macau, 7 other countries have been taken off the blacklist namely Barbados, Grenada, Mongolia, Panama, South Korea, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
These 8 countries will move on to a ‘graylist’ that now contains 55 international jurisdictions that are in the process of adhering to EU fiscal standards. On the other hand, American Samoa, Bahrain, Guam, Marshall Islands, Namibia, Palau, Saint Lucia, Samoa, and Trinidad & Tobago will stay on the EU blacklist.
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