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UAE Removed from Europe’s Tax-haven List

UAE Removed from Europe’s Tax-haven List

Friday, 11 October, 2019 - 07:15
FILE PHOTO: European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, March 6, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman
Brussels - Abdullah Mustafa
The European Union has announced the removal of the United Arab Emirates from the bloc's lists of countries deemed to be acting as tax havens.

The decision of the EU finance ministers on Thursday also included removing Switzerland and Mauritius from the blacklist.

The UAE was removed because it rushed through reforms, the EU said, giving it a clean-sheet on its tax practices.

The 28-nation EU set up a blacklist and a grey list of tax havens in December 2017 after revelations of widespread avoidance schemes used by corporations and wealthy individuals to lower their tax bills.

Major economic partner Switzerland was removed from the EU grey list covering countries that have committed to change their tax rules to make them compliant with EU standards. It has delivered on its commitments, the EU said, and therefore is no longer listed.

In January, a study published by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European parliament said that yearly, 825 billion euros in tax payments are being evaded in the EU.

The bloc’s head at the time, Udo Bullmann, considered this a crime that deprives Europeans from huge amounts of money.

He called for a battle on tax evasion, saying such behavior has decreased by 11.8 percent, a sign that its confrontation has been fruitful.

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