EU develops a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions

The process of developing a common list of non-cooperative jurisdictions is part of the EU's campaign to avoid tax evasion and promote a worldwide fair taxation. It was proposed by the Commission in the External Strategy for Effective Taxation in January 2016 and endorsed by EU Finance Ministers in May. The EU listing process also has the support of the European Parliament.

EU-members consider that a single list of non-cooperative jurisdictions will have more weight than the current national lists. The common EU list is intended as a "last resort" option when dealing with non-EU countries that refuse to comply with international tax good governance standards.

In September, the Commission completed the first step of the drafting process: a scoreboard that collects the results of a thorough preliminary analysis of all third-countries. The analysis of each country was examined against objective economic, financial, stability and tax good governance indicators. The Commission's scoreboard is intended as a first basis for member states in the EU Code of Conduct Group to decide which third country jurisdictions may be relevant to screen in more detail.

The scoreboard does not include least developed countries and also has set up a separate scoreboard for the five countries that already have a transparency agreement with the EU -- Andorra, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco y San Marino --, acknowledging their efforts of cooperation with EU tax governance standards.

During the second phase, screening, EU-member states will determine, based on the scoreboard, which third-countries require further screening. The Commission and the EU Code of Conduct Group are responsible of the screening process. The screening includes a dialog process with third-countries in question.

Once the screening process ends, third-countries that refused to cooperate will be included in the list.

The screening process is intended to be completed by summer 2017, so that the results may be analyzed by EU-member states and the final common list of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions issued by the end of 2017.