Tuesday 7 February 2023

Costa Rica Off The European Union Grey List

Albania, Mauritius, Serbia, Switzerland and Costa Rica are five countries removed from the 'tax-haven' list by the European Union

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Arguing that the Costa Rica “fulfils all its commitments in terms of tax cooperation”, the European Union (EU) decided to remove it from its list of nations and territories considered as non-cooperative.

Costa Rica joins Albania, Mauritius, Serbia and Switzerland, the countries that have implemented, ahead of schedule, all the reforms necessary to comply with the principles of good tax governance of the EU.

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The countries will be removed from Annex II of the Conclusions, according to an official statement dated 10 October 2020.

The document states that “it reviewed jurisdictions’ situation following the end of the two out of three exception for tax transparency criteria on 30 June 2019. The exception provided that countries failing to comply with only one of the three tax transparency sub-criteria would not be listed in annex I.

It concluded that “all jurisdictions concerned met the EU’s three tax transparency criteria. In particular, concerning the situation of the United States, the Council agreed that its network of exchange of information arrangements is sufficiently broad to cover all EU Member States, effectively allowing both exchange of information on request and automatic exchange of information in line with international standards and the respective needs of both sides.”

Additionally, the Council has “endorsed further updates of Annex 2 and guidance on foreign income exemption schemes. The ECOFIN Council of March 12, 2019 noted with concern that in some countries and territories pernicious preferential tax regimes have been replaced by such regimes with similar effect.”

The EU list contributes to on-going efforts to prevent tax avoidance and promote good governance principles such as tax transparency, fair taxation or international standards against tax base erosion and profit shifting.

The list was established in December 2017 and is contained in annex I of the conclusions adopted by the Council. The conclusions also contain a second annex which includes jurisdictions that have undertaken sufficient commitments to reform their tax policies and whose reforms are being monitored by the Council’s code of conduct group on business taxation.

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