26 Jan 2018

Call for EU accountability of tax blacklists

7:12 pm on 26 January 2018

An Australian academic is calling for a review of the European Union's tax blacklist after several Pacific Island states appear to have been targeted unjustifiably.

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Photo: 123RF

Griffith University social science lecturer Anthony Van Fossen said the EU's latest list was a setback for the movement against international tax havens, describing it as wildly inaccurate.

According to the tax haven specialist, the list indicated that the EU was not abiding by the principles of natural justice in exposing true tax avoidance.

He said while the Marshall Islands and Samoa were minor tax havens, the inclusion of Palau, Guam and American Samoa was ridiculous.

Dr Van Fossen said the move appeared to be a distraction from the true tax havens such as Switzerland, Luxembourg, Panama, Ireland and the Cayman Islands.

He said the process of creating the blacklists was secretive, unaccountable and had no objective criteria.

"This is another attempt to scapegoat small countries, remote from the European Union, unfairly blaming them for a problem that is to a great extent created by the off shore tax havens in Europe."

Dr Anthony Van Fossen said it seemed particularly odd that the EU ignored the US Secretary for Treasury who alerted it to the fact that Guam and American Samoa operated under United States tax regulations.

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