St. Kitts-Nevis Wants Off EU Tax ‘Blacklist’ : OECD Comes To Countries’ Defense LK Hewlett Story Updated: June 22 th 2015 at 2:00 pm
St. Kitts-Nevis is among several countries expressing their dissatisfaction at being labeled as non-cooperative tax jurisdictions by the EU. Following the publication of the European Union’s first pan-EU list of third-country non-cooperative tax jurisdictions last Wednesday (June 17), the local government responded by indicating it is writing to the EU Commission for the purpose of having the Federation removed from the list. “The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis is writing to the EU to formally voice our concern about the arbitrary manner in which this blacklist has been drawn up and to ask for our country’s removal from the aforementioned list which clearly does not reflect our nation’s continued adherence and commitment to international standards on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes.” According to the EU Commission, the EU member states assessed how countries around the world apply standards of tax good governance. The 30 countries deemed non-compliant made at least 10 EU member states’ national lists. St. Kitts-Nevis is listed by Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Poland and Slovenia. The Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which sets international standards on tax cooperation, says it considers most of the countries listed by the EU as largely compliant in the area of tax information sharing. In response to the publication of the EU ‘list’, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría sent a letter to Pierre Moscovici, EU Commissioner of Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs. “Many of the 30 jurisdictions identified on your consolidated compilation of national lists are Global Forum members, rated as largely compliant and also committed to automatic exchange of information, including gas early adopters for some of them. “There is nothing more that they can do in order to be considered as cooperative. They have expressed to us their concerns with the perception that they have been listed by the EU. I am sure you will agree that they can be reassured that this is not the case,” Gurría said in the June 19 letter. St. Kitts-Nevis presently has Tax Information Exchange Agreements (TIEAs) with at least nine EU nations. Overall the Federation has approximately 21 TIEAs and 13 Double Tax Agreements.