The European Union (EU) on Tuesday announced it had removed Bermuda from its tax matters watch list because the British Overseas Territory was deemed fully compliant with the bloc’s tax standards.
EU finance ministers made the decision on Bermuda, while at the same time adding the island’s Caribbean offshore rival, the Cayman Islands, to its blacklist of countries deemed to be non-cooperative on tax matters.
Also added to the blacklist were Panama, the Seychelles and Palau. Turkey was given more time to avoid being listed, an EU document stated.
Bermuda was on Annex II of the list, often referred to as the ‘grey list’, which covers jurisdictions with pending commitments, and which were given deadline extensions to pass the necessary reforms to deliver on their commitments.
Bermuda and 15 other jurisdictions joined the white list, after they “managed to implement all the necessary reforms to comply with EU tax good-governance principles ahead of the agreed deadline and are therefore removed from Annex II”, the European Council’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council said.
The other 15 to be delisted were Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cabo Verde, Cook Islands, Curaçao, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Nauru, Niue, St Kitts and Nevis, and Vietnam.
Bermuda had a two-month spell on the blacklist last year, after a mistake in its economic substance regulations was corrected after an EU deadline. Other jurisdictions on the blacklist are Fiji, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, Vanuatu and the three US territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands.