Mauritius out of EU grey list, compliant with tax good governance principles
Following the implementation of necessary reforms to improve their tax good governance principles and policy framework, the Council of the European Union announced it has removed Mauritius from the list of jurisdiction considered to be acting as tax havens.
The Council of the European Union, on 10th October 2019, agreed to remove Mauritius from the grey list – in the same way as Switzerland Albania, Costa Rica and Serbia. These jurisdictions are compliant with all commitments on tax cooperation, having implemented necessary reforms to comply with EU tax good governance principles ahead of their deadline.
Mauritius introduced its Finance Bill on 25th July 2019 and brought amendments to the legislation applicable to its Freeport zone and Partial Exemption regimes on 16th August 2019. At its meeting in September 2019, the Code of Conduct group on Business Taxation of the Council evaluated these amendments and indicated that Mauritius met its commitments to address the gaps identified. This saw the introduction of substance requirements, and the question relating to the lack of anti-abuse rules has been addressed by the implementation of Controlled-Foreign-Company (CFC) rules, aligned with those of EU’s anti-tax avoidance directive.
Following the update from the Council, nine jurisdictions now remain on the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. They are American Samoa, Belize, Fiji, Guam, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.
The situation as seen by Nitin Collappen, Managing Director of Sunibel Corporate Services
Being whitelisted is not surprising for Mauritius. Indeed, the Mauritian government has always worked with international organisations to comply with global standards of good practice.
Furthermore, being among the first countries to sign the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on the Exchange of Country-by-Country Reports of the OECD in June 2015, Mauritius is a globally recognised and transparent International Financial Centre that not only attracts capital flows, but also ensures the security of assets.
Through the Mauritius jurisdiction, we enable investors and entrepreneurs around the world to expand their reach and, at the same time, seize other growth opportunities in Africa and Asia.
It is important to note that, although sanctions against countries on the blacklist are limited, the EU intends to freeze the European funds that these countries could have received. Being no longer listed by the EU is therefore a reassuring point for our European customers. They can now do business across Mauritius in a secure, transparent and efficient manner.
About the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdiction on business taxation
In an ongoing effort to prevent tax dodging, and promote and support good governance principles including transparency, fair taxation as well as international standards – such as OECD’s Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS), the EU has developed the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in December 2017.
The conclusions adopted by the Council of the European Union contains two annexes. The first on is the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions (blacklist). The second one (grey list) features the jurisdictions that have committed to bring all necessary reforms to their tax policies, and whose reforms are being monitored by the Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation of the Council. A dynamic process, the Council reviews and brings up-to-date its list at a rate of two updates per year, since 2018.
For more details, you can read the “October 2019 note to Council on the update to the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdiction on business taxation” by clicking here.
Council of the European Union: Taxation: 2 countries removed from list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, 5 meet commitments
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