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EU removes UAE, Switzerland from tax haven list

LUXEMBOURG : The European Union (EU) removed Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates from its list of tax havens yesterday, giving two global hubs for multinational tax schemes the all clear.

"Albania, Costa Rica, Mauritius, Serbia and Switzerland have implemented ahead of their deadline all necessary reforms to comply with EU tax good governance principles," the bloc's 28 finance ministers said.

The EU's grey list has included Switzerland since its launch in December 2017 as the country was deemed as having inadequate tax rules, though it had expressed commitment to reform them.

"If Switzerland is off this list, it is a success for me. The best list is the shortest," said Pierre Moscovici, European commissioner for economic affairs, at a press conference.

Switzerland had approved a tax reform in October last year, but its entry into force had been delayed due to a referendum.

"The EU has whitewashed two of the world's most harmful tax havens," said Ms Chiara Putaturo, Oxfam's EU policy adviser on tax.

"Both countries will continue to offer sweet treats to tax-dodging companies, like very low tax rates, accelerating the race to the bottom on corporate taxation."

The move leaves only nine countries or territories considered to be uncooperative on the list: American Samoa, Belize, Fiji, Guam, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.- AFP

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